Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

5

Album Review

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar 2

Read "Fractal Guitar 2" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Guitarist and composer Stephan Thelen's Fractal Guitar (MoonJune Records, 2018) found him stepping outside of his role in the band Sonar in a big way. An absolute feast of multiple guitars with electronic effects, live looping and soundscaping, it also featured a star-studded group of guest guitarists (not to mention a grooving rhythm section). The good news is that almost all of them are back for the second instalment, along with some new friends. The original album was largely created ...

3

Radio

Stephan Thelen with Fractal Guitar 2, Steve Hunt from his album Connections, Al Garcia, Igor Willcox and much more

Read "Stephan Thelen with Fractal Guitar 2, Steve Hunt from his album Connections, Al Garcia, Igor Willcox and much more" reviewed by Len Davis


The latest release from Stephan Thelen Fractal Guitar 2, Steve Hunt from Connections and music from Melbourne Jazz Funk band Pickpocket from their latest Refraction —also Al Garcia and Igor Willcox. Playlist Stephan Thelen “Cosmic Krautrock" from Fractal Guitar 2 (Moonjune) 00:00 Steve Hunt “Now's The Time" from Connections (Spice Rack) 07:53 Al Garcia “All Is Not As It Seems" from Between Worlds (Self Produced) 15:43 Igor Willcox “Room 73" from # 1 (Room 73) 23:32 Pickpocket “Sleep ...

12

Album Review

Stephan Thelen: World Dialogue

Read "World Dialogue" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Stephan Thelen's compositions for his band Sonar have a minimalist groove that clearly relates to other groups in the experimental sphere like Swiss pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch's band Ronin. These works for string quartet are not stylistically far removed from Thelen's Sonar music, but the classical chamber music context establishes them in the world occupied by composers like Steve Reich. Thelen's desire to compose for the Kronos Quartet was the driver for this album. He composed the ...

9

Year in Review

Mark Sullivan’s Best Releases of 2019

Read "Mark Sullivan’s Best Releases of 2019" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Another year, another diverse group of releases. There were an unusual percentage of albums outside of jazz for me this year, for whatever reason. Although I opted not to review any albums by pianist/composer Satoko Fujii, she released five diverse projects—even after her 2018 marathon of an album a month to celebrate her 60th birthday—so I would like to acknowledge her remarkable productivity and stylistic range. This is a chronological list, not a ranking. Stephan Thelen

6

Album Review

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks

Read "Fractal Guitar Remixes and Extra Tracks" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Swiss guitarist-composer Stephan Thelen (leader of the band Sonar) released his first solo album Fractal Guitar (Moonjune Records, 2019) to great acclaim. This remix album offers a dramatic new look at four of the original five tracks--only “Radiant Day" is skipped--as well as adding three new tracks from Thelen and two collaborators. The remix album begins as the original did, with “Briefing for a Descent into Hell." Thelen's remix makes a more direct statement, cutting almost immediately to ...

17

Album Review

Stephan Thelen: Fractal Guitar

Read "Fractal Guitar" reviewed by John Kelman


For his Moonjune Records debut, Stephan Thelen, USA-born/Swiss guitarist and primary composer for the post-minimalist/post-progressive band Sonar, challenges some of the foundational premises of a group that has, over almost the last decade, garnered increasing critical and popular acclaim. As informed by Robert Fripp and the guitarist's work with (and beyond) King Crimson as it is the Zen Funk of Nik Bärtsch's Ronin and the similarly minimalist-informed Don Li, it's unlikely that Sonar's polyrhythmic, groove--heavy, tritone-based music will ever put ...


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