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Articles by Ian Patterson

ALBUM REVIEWS

Juan Dhas: Catharsis

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Guitarist Juan Dhas' debut recording, Embracing Clarity (Self Produced, 2014), was released just before he graduated Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music. Returning to Bogotá in 2016, the then twenty- two-year-old immersed himself in the Colombian jazz scene. Just the following year, he obtained the post of Coordinator of the Guitar Department at EMMAT, a feeder school for Berklee. It's been an impressive trajectory, one that continues with Catharsis, which sees Dhas move from the quartet setting of ...

BOOK REVIEWS

Billie Holiday: Lady Sings The Blues

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Lady Sings The Blues Billie Holiday/William Dufty 180 Pages ISBN: 978-0-241-35129-1 Penguin Modern Classics 2018 For many, Billie Holiday was the greatest of all the jazz singers, while her emotive delivery and tragic persona seemed to embody the early jazz life in all its boho chic and with all its dark undertones. Six decades after her death from alcohol-related illness at the age of forty four, Holiday remains a hugely admired and somewhat ...

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Robocobra Quartet: Plays Hard To Get

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In this post-genre era it can be quite a challenge at times to name music. Not that it should matter, but when it comes time to filing music away it seems that only alphabetically makes sense anymore. This is certainly advisable with Belfast band Robocobra Quartet, whose blend of post-punk, hardcore, jazz and contemporary classical will likely induce a spot of head-scratching, once the adrenaline has subsided. “It's a strange world we stepped in...", intones Chris Ryan at a certain ...

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Mia Dyberg: Ticket!

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Raised in Sweden and Denmark, alto saxophonist Mia Dyberg has made a name for herself on Berlin's improvised music scene, notably in the duos Sonic Horizons, with cellist Guilherme Rodrigues, and with Italian turntable musician Roberta Wjm Andreucci in Morph! Ticket! is Dyberg's second trio outing to take inspiration from beat poet William S. Burroughs, following the live recording Pulse (Clean Feed Records, 2016). Dyberg improvised to tapes of Burroughs' reading his poetry, transcribed her solos and then used these ...

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Eunhye Jeong: Chi-Da

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Boston-based, South Korean pianist Eunhye Jeong's second release as leader couldn't be more different from her debut, Turtle Suite (2015). That recording brought jazz and traditional Korean musicians together on a set of melody-based originals where Song Yi Jeon's wordless vocals were as much a protagonist as Jeong's elegant piano playing. Chi-Da, by contrast, is a solo piano offering of almost entirely improvised pieces. The sub-title to the album, Be Silent As Loud as Possible reflects the importance of silence ...

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Sungjae Son: Near East Quartet

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Billed since its 2009 inception as Near East Quartet, the elevation of saxophonist Sungjae Son's name reflects the saxophonist's status as founder and de facto leader of this South Korean outfit, which forges a contemporary path from traditional roots. Its only previous album, the instrumental Chaosmos (KT Music, 2010) featured two percussionists alongside Son and co-founder, guitarist Suwuk Chong. The band's aesthetic changed significantly in 2015 with the addition of two women, pansori singer/percussionist Yulhee Kim and jazz drummer Soojin ...

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Marja Mortensson: Mojhtestasse

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The passing on of musical tradition is fundamental to any culture, but so too is innovation, which breathes new life into old ways. Mojhtestasse, the second album by Norwegian south Saami singer Marja Mortensson, continues her revival of the yoik tradition--a unique, chant-like vocalisation--that has been dormant in her family for several generations. Mortensson's wordless chant-cum-improvisations exert a charm-like spell, but just as fascinating are her self-penned songs, sung in south Saami, which with just five hundred native speakers, is ...

RETHINKING JAZZ CULTURES

Francesco Martinelli: European Jazz - Tales of Etruscan Vases, Arias And Resistance

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Few have attempted to tackle the history of European jazz in any meaningful way. That's hardly surprising given the size of the task. How do you address the jazz history of over forty countries in a succinct and logical manner? How do you manage to throw light on all the major personalities at the expense of many lesser known musicans and still retain a balanced narrative? What weight should you give to the geo-political and socio-economic circumstances peculiar ...

BOOK REVIEWS

The History Of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians And Audience in Context

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The History Of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians And Audience In Context Various authors/Edited by Francesco Martinelli 741 Pages ISBN: 13 978 1 78179 446 3 Equinox Publishing 2018 It's taken some time, about a century in fact, but finally, thanks chiefly to editor and jazz historian Francesco Martinelli of Siena Jazz, the first comprehensive, pan-European history of jazz sees the light of day. And what stories they are too -complex, colorful ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival 2018

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Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival Various Venues Falcarragh, Ireland December 7-8, 2018 It only rained twice during the inaugural Falcarragh Winter Jazz Festival--all day Friday, and then all day Saturday. Still, no amount of rain or wind could dampen the spirits of those who turned out to support this bold initiative by local lads Conor and Micheal Murray. Bold because jazz doesn't have any footing in this small town seeped in Irish folk music, country ...

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Nicole Johaenntgen: Henry II

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Two years on from Henry (Self-Produced, 2016), a pulsating set of contemporary tunes in the New Orleans brass band tradition, Nicole Johänntgen is once again bitten by the Nawlins bug on this vibrant follow-up. The Zurich-based German saxophonist is joined, as before, by trombonist Jon Ramm, drummer Paul Thibodeaux and sousaphone player Steven Glenn--their collective claws sharpened by two years of touring. It follows that the quartet's added road miles have deepened its intuitive language, resulting in music that fairly ...

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Susanna Risberg: Vilddjur

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If the proverbial ten thousand hours of practise does lead to mastery of one's craft, then it's a safe bet that twenty-six-year-old Swedish guitarist Susanna Risberg has long since passed that milestone since taking up the guitar aged ten. Nor is it just her virtuosity that compels on Vilddjur, her third album as leader, but her emotional shading and the compositional sophistication at play too. These nine refined yet visceral tunes also suggest that Risberg's musical vision is broader than ...