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Articles by Jakob Baekgaard

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Gabriel Naïm Amor: Moments Before

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The idea of storytelling in music has been used and abused to describe almost any kind of playing with a melodic arc and logical progression, but true musical storytelling is not just about lines forming a pattern, but rather entails creating emotional spaces where it is just as important to leave things out as it is to fill in the blanks. Too often it is assumed that playing a lot means saying a lot, but in fact the strongest statements ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Eliot Cardinaux: Sweet Beyond Witness

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These days words seem to narrow the world instead of making it wide. Short, simple statements are floating around, just as quickly read as they are forgotten. Poetry is not an alternative to everyday language, but it provides a necessary supplement that reminds us that humans are complex beings--not just customers whose behavior and psychology can be predicted by clicks. A space is needed where complex emotions can be expressed in a language beyond binary limitations. Poet, pianist and multimedia ...

RECORD LABEL PROFILES

Hubro: Making Room for Marginalized Music

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There are times when a record label becomes more than just a label. It becomes an embodiment of a certain period in time. In Norway, think of the German label ECM with the emergence of the so-called Nordic sound propelled by Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek and drummer Jon Christensen. Later, Rune Grammofon summed up a more electronic and experimental direction in Norwegian music with acts like Supersilent, Jono El Grande and Alog. Right now, a new sound seems ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

John Blair: Rumble at Waikiki. The John Blair Anthology

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There's something fundamentally life-affirming about surf music. Maybe it has something to do with the images the music conjures: swaying palms, hot sunshine, warm sand and blue waves. It's not a coincidence that the recordings sometimes include sounds of weather: piping wind and splashing waves. Surf music is mood music, occasionally used in films, but it also has the attraction and zest of rock 'n' roll. There's an immediate energy and enthusiasm present in the music. Much of this has ...

INTERVIEWS

Huw Warren: Global Music from a Local Perspective

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Welsh pianist and composer, Huw Warren, has been an important voice on the British jazz scene for many years. With a seemingly endless appetite for music, Warren has both been delving into Brazilian music with singer Maria Pia de Vito and played ethereal folk-inspired jazz music with another singer, June Tabor, in the trio Quercus. He has also worked as Tabor's musical director for many years. Aside from his many gigs as a sideman, Warren is teaching ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Juan Bayon: Vidas Simples

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Bassist Juan Bayon has helped shape the sound of contemporary Argentinian jazz with Kuai Records. As well as recording his own music, he has kept himself busy running one of the most exciting new labels in modern jazz. However, his third album as a leader, Vidas Simples, is a brief departure from his association with Kuai as Bayon joins the roster of Matthew Golombisky's ears&eyes records. In many ways, it is a perfect match that underlines the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Toft-Olsen: Four

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"Four" is a composition written by Miles Davis with lyrics by singer and lyricist Jon Hendricks, but now it is also the name of an album by hitherto unknown Danish singer and jazz crooner Hans Toft-Olsen. Naturally, he sings the song about the four elements that you get out of life: truth, honor, happiness and love. Incidentally, these are also some of the things that make a crooner great. You have got to sing truthfully, embracing the universe of the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Paula Shocron: Los Vínculos

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In a sense, every musician is in a dialog with his or her own past, reshaping lessons that have been learned long ago in a quest for a new expression. However, it is very rare to encounter a dialog that is as explicit as the one that takes place on Argentinian pianist Paula Shocron's solo record Los Vínculos. The album is a dialog with a practice tape of a young Shocron playing J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations. In ...

RECORD LABEL PROFILES

Origin Records: Creating Opportunities and Community

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Being a jazz musician sometimes seems like a life ruled by jungle law. Everyone fights for gigs and puts out music on “labels" with only one artist. However, it doesn't have to be this way. Origin Records is an example of a modern artist driven label that has grown through collaboration and community. As Matt Jorgensen, one half of the team behind the label says: “If you want to be a part of it, you have to 'be a part ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Summer Jazz and Fringe Jazz Fest in Copenhagen

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Summer Jazz & Fringe Jazz Fest Various Venues Copenhagen and Valby, Denmark July 6-8, 2018 This year, Copenhagen Jazz Festival celebrates its 40th anniversary. It's a lot of years with a lot of music and the tendency has been unequivocal. The festival has been growing with new venues and artists added to a seemingly endless list. Part of this process has been the emergence of sub-festivals. Festivals within the festival. An example ...