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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jon Rune Strøm Quintet: Fragments

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Norwegian bassist Jon Rune Strøm, subscribes to none of the self-effacement which sometimes manifests itself on dates led by rhythm section mainstays. That is signaled straight away on the first cut of Fragments, where no other instrument is heard for the first six minutes. With bow in hand, he initially duets with fellow bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen, first mining the upper registers but then pursuing diverging seams. Then Strøm alone carves out a robust pizzicato solo which culminates in a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Michael Dessen Trio: Somewhere In The Upstream

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Ace trombonist Michael Dessen is an imaginative technologist when incorporating artistically focused computer-generated sounds into his works as he once again disavows the tried and true with this all-star rhythm section. Complete with unorthodox flows and changeable rhythmic progressions, Dessen's zany and otherworldly live electronics permutations, along with some cosmic interference, offers an extra layer of excitement and curiousity. Essentially, the trio adds a phantasmagoric nuance to various movements throughout this program dedicated to the memory of jazz great, Yusef ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Sara Serpa: Close Up

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Portuguese vocalist Sara Serpa has been a significant presence on the New York jazz scene for several years now, creating music with literary and artistic allusions in the company of renowned musicians like Ran Blake, Nicole Mitchell and Tyshawn Sorey. For her latest project she leads a trio that also features saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Erik Friedlander. The music they make together, with Serpa often singing wordlessly, creates an airy tapestry of sound. On “Sol Enganador" Friedlander ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Aalberg / Kullhammar / Zetterberg / Santos Silva: Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)

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Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva joins the core Swedish trio for the 4th installment of this series recorded in Bali, Indonesia. Moreover, each musician uses indigenous Gamelan instruments to induce World Jazz treatments within a variety of motifs. However, the quartet executes a range of alternating flows, combining coarse and meaty horns parts with sonorous thematic statements and free-form improv. At times saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar enacts latter-day Coltrane-isms, yet the band tenders a modicum of tonal contrasts and emotive outbursts, ...

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Kjetil Møster: Ran Do

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More than in any other American jazz scene, the musicians of Chicago have embraced and continue to embrace their colleagues in Europe and the UK. In the 1990s the Chicagoan Ken Vandermark began a long-standing association with Mats Gustafsson (Sweden) and Peter Brotzmann (Germany). And Hamid Drake has been crisscrossing the Atlantic for ages. These connections seem a natural part of the Windy City's jazz methodology. That said, this meeting of the Norwegian saxophonist Kjetil Møster and the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Igor Lumpert & Innertextures: Eleven

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Clarity, angularity, consistency are the most distinguishing characteristics of the album Eleven, created by saxophonist Igor Lumpert & Innertextures. M-Base, Mahler and Mingus are keywords, too. Eleven is jagged music with clear thematic threads, music that happens somewhere in between stasis and straightforward movement. Lumpert's music is based on a strong procedural structure that allows growth and the absorption of a variety of influences. Six musicians have left their traces in the strongly collective way of performing this music, namely ...

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Joao Camoes - Jean-Luc Cappozzo - Jean-Marc Foussat: Autres Paysages

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Electronics ace Jean-Marc Foussat (France) and trumpeter Jean-Luc Cappozzo (France) are established purveyors of whatever may constitute 'new music' loosely skirting the fringes of improvised jazz or perhaps, open-ended experimental frameworks. Here, they team with a willing partner, viola performer Joao Camoes (Portugal) for a session that conjures an electro-organic vibe and spans numerous emotive sensations, whether the music may be pointed to existential, sober or magical manifestations. During the three extended pieces, the trio executes dark, foreboding ...

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Susana Santos Silva: All the Rivers – Live at Panteão Nacional

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The young Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva has been steadily rising in the ranks of cutting-edge improvisers and composers. Santos has extensive conservatory training from her native country, as well as in Germany and Holland. She is at home in the colloquial language of traditional jazz and the avant-garde, but her strength is in a sound that is more idiosyncratic and undefinable. Santos plays across a broad scope of formations from The European Movement Jazz Orchestra down to a number ...

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Kokotob: Flying Heart

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Back in 2006, vibraphonist Taiko Saito teamed up with pianist Niko Meinhold for a duet album entitled Koko (Pirouet), on which they forged a synthesis of classical and improvised jazz music. Here they've added another member, clarinetist Tobias Schirmer, and the trio (now dubbed Kokotob) has produced a deeply pensive, compelling album that relies as heavily on texture and mood as it does on overt melodic gestures. Meinhold and Saito are each given compositional credit for four of ...

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Angles 9: Disappeared Behind the Sun

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On the sixth release from reedman Martin Küchen's mid-sized Angles ensemble, all the winning traits so evident on previous outings are still present and correct: heart wrenching melodies, huge foot-tapping riffs, sweeping chorales and adventurous raw soloing, not least by the leader himself. Many of the same top notch players remain on board, notably trombonist Mats Äleklint, vibraphonist Mattias Ståhl, bassist Johan Berthling and drummer Andreas Werliin, affirming a veritable spiders web of connections with other well-regarded bands on the ...