Articles by Karl Ackermann

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

ALBUM REVIEWS

Bohren & der Club of Gore: Patchouli Blue

Read "Patchouli Blue" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Momentum is a relative notion in the dark, doom-jazz world of Bohren & der Club of Gore. In the five years since its last studio album, Piano Nights (Pias Recordings, 2014), it has scaled back to a trio with the departure of long-time drummer Thorsten Benning. The shift from the earlier “doom metal jazz" was more than a subtle alteration. The German band, which has been together for almost thirty years, replaced one-time heavy metal guitarist Reiner Henseleit with tenor ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

The De Jong/Rebane/Kantonen Trio: Intercities

Read "Intercities" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Intercities is the debut album from the trio of pianist Jetse de Jong, bassist Robert Rebane and drummer Roope Kantonen. The multi-national group hails from The Netherlands, Estonia, and Finland, respectively. All in their early twenties, the musicians met while attending the Conservatory of Amsterdam. De Jong, who studied both classical piano and jazz, was inspired to learn jazz by a recording of Fats Domino at an early age. He has toured and performed on radio and television throughout Europe ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Daniel Carter / Matthew Shipp / William Parker / Gerald Cleaver: Welcome Adventure! Vol. 1

Read "Welcome Adventure! Vol. 1" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

When multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter, bassist William Parker and pianist Matthew Shipp met for an esoteric evening of discussion and music at Tufts University in 2017, the net result was Seraphic Light (AUM Fidelity, 2018). That three-part improvised program was one of the best free improvisation albums of the year. On Welcome Adventure! Vol. 1, the trio expands to a quartet with the addition of drummer Gerald Cleaver. The new formation brings with it a sound different from the first excursion. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: The Piano Equation

Read "The Piano Equation" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Matthew Shipp is like an engineer from another dimension. In three decades of making music, he maintains an inquisitiveness for expanding new dialects and an aptitude for blending composition and exploration. Marking his sixtieth birthday, The Piano Equation reveals the pianist contemplating past experiments if only as a platform for the future; a foundation for yet another new conception. Seeing words like “equation," “vortex," or “cosmic" in Shipp's titles points to a theoretical approach that the composer's loyal audiences are ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Roberto Magris: Suite!

Read "Suite!" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Italian pianist/composer Roberto Magris could not have anticipated the urgent need for a positive message when he recorded Suite! in 2018. The newly released double album reflects Magris' belief that a better world is coming and his certainty is conveyed in a sprawling program of poetry, original compositions, and some surprising covers. He has recorded as the leader of several sextets but here features a new line-up dominated by studio musicians. Chicago bassist Eric Hochberg has worked with ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Grégoire Maret / Romain Collin / Bill Frisell: Americana

Read "Americana" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Harmonica player and composer Grégoire Maret is not a familiar name in the U.S. but he should be. The New York-based artist has recorded with Jimmy Scott, Jacky Terrasson, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, Charlie Hunter, Terri Lyne Carrington, Pat Metheny and many others. The very bankable musician has appeared on over seventy-five releases as a sideman and has recorded as a leader on three albums. Americana unites Maret with pianist, composer and label-mate Romain Collin, along with legendary guitarist ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Roscoe Mitchell and Ostravska Banda: Distant Radio Transmission

Read "Distant Radio Transmission" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Roscoe Mitchell, a co-founder of the AACM and Art Ensemble of Chicago, continues to discover new intersections of jazz, classical and avant-garde music with Distant Radio Transmission. As he approaches eighty years of age Mitchell has waved off time and tradition, reinventing the AEoC brand with the orchestrated—sometimes operatic—We Are on the Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration (Pi Recordings, 2019), a project that bore little resemblance to the group's historical discography. On this album, he draws on past compositions to ...


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