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ALBUM REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann: Elegy

Read "Elegy" reviewed by John Kelman

While ECM is a label largely renowned for its subtlety, attention to space and detail, and overall understated, “less is more" aesthetic--an early sampler titled, even, The Most Beautiful Sound Next To Silence--it's hard to imagine a label debut as a leader that could be less about virtuosity and more about creating soft atmospheres and ambiences than singer Theo Bleckmann's delicately moving, aptly titled Elegy. Bleckmann is no newcomer to the label: he was an important guest on ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann and the Julia Hülsmann Trio at The Stone

Read "Theo Bleckmann and the Julia Hülsmann Trio at The Stone" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Theo Bleckmann and the Julia Hülsmann Trio The Stone A Clear Midnight: Kurt Weill and America New York, NY June 21, 2015 In late June of 2015, vocalist Theo Bleckmann held residency at New York's The Stone. The venue's interdisciplinary hipness was epitomized by Bleckmann's week-long tenure, during which his offerings spanned the gamut from solo improvisations and the music of Kate Bush to the presentation of Kurt Weill songs reviewed here. For this ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Theo Bleckmann: Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush

Read "Theo Bleckmann: Hello Earth! The Music of Kate Bush" reviewed by Dave Sumner

Theo BleckmannHello Earth! The Music Of Kate BushWinter & Winter2012The 1980s possessed an incongruous hope for the future against a backdrop of possible nuclear annihilation, as if in the darkest of times, society retreated to a naive state. This is a generalization that doesn't, obviously, represent the entire gamut of human experience, yet it was there all the same. The majority of singer and composer Kate Bush's music came from that decade, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann: Hello Earth! - The Music of Kate Bush

Read "Hello Earth! - The Music of Kate Bush" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Vocalist Theo Bleckmann is a man of numerous modalities and ambitions. He's covered classical composer Charles Ives, teamed with heavyweight guitarist Ben Monder for experimental and improvised sojourns and, more recently, has performed and recorded with the always hip jazz unit, The Claudia Quintet. Here, Bleckmann treks into the pop-rock realm as he imparts a personalized touch to the music of iconic British singer/songwriter, Kate Bush. Bush's use of electronics, layered vocal parts, and futuristic production processes are also noted ...

INTERVIEWS

Jen Shyu and Theo Bleckmann: Breaking the Song Barrier

Read "Jen Shyu and Theo Bleckmann: Breaking the Song Barrier" reviewed by Daniel Lehner

Before Robert Moog came out with the first synthesizer, before Adolphe Sax invented his famous reed instrument, before the trumpets sounded at Jericho, even before the world's ancient tribes tightened their animal skins to make drums, humanity's first instrument was the voice. Not that this is of particular consequence to Theo Bleckmann. “To me, that argument is completely moot because it doesn't matter what the first instrument was, it's what you make of it. Just because it may be the ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann at Le Poisson Rouge: The Music Of Kate Bush

Read "Theo Bleckmann at Le Poisson Rouge: The Music Of Kate Bush" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Theo BleckmannHello Earth! The Music of Kate BushLe Poisson RougeNew York , NYSeptember 22, 2010 Kate Bush is an iconic singer in the UK and in many other countries. As a nineteen year-old, she released her first album The Kick Inside (EMI, 1978), which contained two major hits: “Wuthering Heights," based on a television adaptation of Emily Bronte's famous novel; and “The Man With the Child In His Eyes," which contained many ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann: I Dwell In Possibility

Read "I Dwell In Possibility" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Were Theo Bleckmann Irish he would be a leprechaun, a magical bringer of joy and beauty with creativity and a sense of humor. Probably a more apt cultural consideration is viewing this vocalist/performance artist as the embodiment of all that was good, demiurgic, evocative, and provocative of Berlin during the explosively creative Weimar Republic period. Bleckmann is a daring and broadly talented artist fearing no type of artistic expression. A lover of sounds and gadgets, the singer has forged a ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Theo Bleckmann: I Dwell In Possibility

Read "Theo Bleckmann: I Dwell In Possibility" reviewed by Warren Allen

Theo BleckmannI Dwell In PossibilityWinter & Winter2010 To record I Dwell in Possibility, vocalist Theo Bleckmann made a musical pilgrimage to the Beinwil Abbey in an isolated area of Switzerland. With the aid of producer Stefan Winter, he proceeded to lay down 15 tracks, only using his voice, a collection of bizarre little instruments and the resonant acoustics of the abbey's monastery. Left unprocessed with its sounds of old stone and ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann: I Dwell In Possibility

Read "I Dwell In Possibility" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The title of this record also defines vocalist Theo Bleckmann's artistic philosophy. Bleckmann is probably the only human being to ever properly interpret the music of Kate Bush and the compositions of Charles Ives, and his range as an artist doesn't stop there. Bleckmann's Winter & Winter albums, along with successful side projects, have earned him critical acclaim and a pile of awards--including the prestigious JAZZ ECHO award from the Deutsche Phono-Akademie in Germany. All of the positive press could ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann and Fumio Yasuda: Schumann's Favored Bar Songs

Read "Schumann's Favored Bar Songs" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Schumann's Bar am Hofgarten is located at Odeonsplatz 6+7 80539 Munich, Germany. It derives its name from founder and bartender, Charles Schumann, who originally ran a similar bar in New York City. It is a world famous watering hole for the rich and and famous, something Schumann has cultivated among his patrons. Winter and Winter, who shares Munich as a home town, has made recordings using Schumann's as inspiration, including Salon Music At Schumann's Bar (Winter and Winter, 2005) and ...

BAILEY'S BUNDLES

The Charles Ives Songs Series 2: Theo Bleckmann and Kneebody / Naxos, Vol. 1

Read "The Charles Ives Songs Series 2: Theo Bleckmann and Kneebody /  Naxos, Vol. 1" reviewed by C. Michael Bailey

Fortunate for the recently completed cycle of songs by Charles Ives on Naxos' Charles Ives: Songs, Vol. 1 are Theo Bleckmann's re-imaginings of 12 of Ives' better known vocal compositions, Twelve Songs by Charles Ives. These two releases provide stark contrast between traditional and progressive performances of not only Ives, but of “art songs" in general. They also illuminate the contrast between the art and the artist, that creative conflict beginning with Paganini and Liszt and continuing through to today. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Theo Bleckmann & Ben Monder: At Night

Read "At Night" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza

Theo Bleckmann (voice and live electronic processing) and Ben Monder (guitar) have played together in several settings. This time they return as a duo, with Satoshi Takeishi (drums, percussion and laptop) making a presence on five tracks.

There is a fine sense of balance on the recording. Both Monder and Bleckmann have a quirky sense of humor which is transmitted to their music. This is seen in the way they set up the instrumentation and bring in a ...


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