Articles by Karl Ackermann

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

ALBUM REVIEW

Benoit Delbecq: The Weight of Light

Read "The Weight of Light" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Parisian pianist & composer Benoît Delbecq has not recorded a solo album in more than a decade. His collaborations are with impressive company including Tim Berne, Tom Rainey, Lotte Anker, Mark Turner, Steve Argüelles, Gerald Cleaver, Marc Ducret, Gerry Hemingway, Mary Halvorson, Taylor Ho Bynum, and Kris Davis. It is Davis' Pyroclastic Records that Delbecq calls home for the eclectic collection The Weight of Light. Delbecq is not a household name in the U.S.A.; many of his recordings ...

UNDER THE RADAR

A Different Drummer, Part 1: Mark Lomax II and Mauricio Takara

Read "A Different Drummer, Part 1: Mark Lomax II and Mauricio Takara" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

The drum is an instrument of power and presence. It is the heartbeat of music but with uncertain origins. In Africa, China, and Turkey, archeologists have found evidence to suggest that any of those regions may have been the forebearers of the beat, of the definitive expression of freedom. Data concludes that instrumental music is at least 40 thousand years old, and drumming is possibly much older. Scientists have determined that pre-human descendants have been beating a drum at repeated ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Matthew Shipp / Evan Parker: Leonine Aspects

Read "Leonine Aspects" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Matthew Shipp's duo recordings with saxophonists such as Ivo Perelman and Rob Brown have always been intriguing but his projects with Evan Parker are fascinating in their complexity and openness. The two master improvisers have teamed up twice before, beginning with Abbey Road Duos (Treader, 2007) and recorded several more albums together with the Spring Heel Jack collective. Leonine Aspects was recorded live in 2017 at the Festival Météo de Mulhouse in France. While Shipp and Parker have different stylistic ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Yuichiro Tokuda: God dwells in everything

Read "God dwells in everything" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Saxophonist Yuichiro Tokuda has been a fixture on the Tokyo jazz scene for more than a decade. However, he is unknown in the U.S.A. With his quintet, called RALYZZDIG, he has toured throughout the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and North America. Tokuda has been a finalist or winner of several global jazz competitions, and was the subject of a feature on BBC Radio in 2011. He returns with a revised line-up on God Dwells In Everything. Tokuda studied ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Dana Jessen: Winter Chapel

Read "Winter Chapel" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Dana Jessen is the founder of Splinter Reeds, a reed quintet, and she has performed with Anthony Braxton's Tri-Centric Orchestra. In 2017, the bassoonist/composer gave us the enterprising solo project Carve (Innova Recordings). Her mastery of the difficult double-reed instrument played out in experimental interpretations of works by modern composers. Winter Chapel is Jessen's equally adventurous second solo outing, this time with her compositions and improvisations. Winter Chapel was recorded in early 2020 at the Oberlin College Fairchild ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Pedro Melo Alves: In Igma

Read "In Igma" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

Jazz has had a presence in Portugal since the mid-1920s but had found itself in decline from the 1970s. The revolutionary jazz scene in Portugal, circa the 2010s, has produced a profusion of rising stars. Violist Ernesto Rodrigues, trumpeter Susana Santos Silva, Orquestra Jazz De Matosinhos, and the Lisbon Underground Music Ensemble are among those who have emerged as influential beyond the Portuguese border. Two driving forces in that country's improvised music—drummer-percussionist Pedro Melo Alves and experimental guitarist Abdul Moimême—team ...

BUILDING A JAZZ LIBRARY

Solo Recordings for Non-Traditionalists

Read "Solo Recordings for Non-Traditionalists" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

On January 24, 1975, a Bösendorfer 290 Imperial concert grand piano was to be wheeled onto the stage of the Cologne Opera House. Instead, a rehearsal piano, smaller, beaten-up, and out of tune, was the only instrument available to then twenty-nine-year-old piano prodigy Keith Jarrett. The pianist was not in much better shape than the piano. In pain and wearing a back brace, he was sleep-deprived and had driven over three-hundred miles from Zürich. Jarrett threatened to cancel the concert ...


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