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

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Album Review

Mikko Innanen: Autonomus I - XXX

Read "Autonomus I - XXX" reviewed by Anthony Shaw


Mikko Innanen has been a prolific saxophonist on the Finnish scene for so long that one can no longer refer to him as any sort of new boy in town. But with the passing of the years there have been changes of focus and style, and the release of the album Autonomus sees a new experimental style, which puts Innanen back in the position of a new aspirant on the block. The change from his former principle band ...

3

Album Review

Kallio Slaaki: Polymania for percussion

Read "Polymania for percussion" reviewed by Anthony Shaw


As its name suggests,this album is aimed at an audience familiar with gamelan and tuned percussion, as opposed to the year's other drum trio release by Zach Hill, Janet Weiss and Matt Cameron, a 40 minute rolling improvisation. Here each piece is highly scripted by leader Mika Kallio, and mainly follows lines he lays down on his numerous tuned gongs. Not that unimpeded and even raucous jamming play no part, but it is small compared to the ...

2

Album Review

kahden miehen galaksi: Um Jepa

Read "Um Jepa" reviewed by Anthony Shaw


Buying a CD is more of an act of commitment nowadays than ever. One may be motivated by acquisitional zeal or by dedication to an artist, and opening up the wrapper brings one a little closer to the creative source regardless of any future pleasure from its consumption. The cover in question is as surrealistically appealing as it is tantalizing, rather like the music on this first CD by the Finnish duo Kahden Miehen Galaksi/Two Man Galaxy. ...

129

Album Review

Gnomus: II

Read "II" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich


Gnomus’ second album continues to refine the atmospheric improvisation the group explored on its self-titled debut . Gnomus is keboardist Kari Ikonen, guitarist Esa Onttonen and drummer Mika Kallio. Ikonen and Onttonen also compose a variety of works, from small ensemble and vocal pieces to big band works. Kallio does not compose like the others, but his meticulous, subdued percussion work has shaped numerous pieces by other composers. These talents combined give the three extended improvisations on II an intuitive ...

188

Album Review

Esa Pietil: Direct

Read "Direct" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich


When John Cage distilled sound into four elements-pitch, duration, timbre and loudness-he succinctly summed up many 20th century musicians’ attitudes towards music: sound itself matters more than the structure in which it resides. Cage’s approach was expressed in jazz by the '60s avant-garde. They rejected conventions like swing, bar lines and rigid solo formats in favor of expressiveness, texture, and free-flowing interaction. They explored the essence of sound, and in doing so made a massive noise.

Like its ...

175

Album Review

Gnomus: Gnomus

Read "Gnomus" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich


Gnomus, the self-titled release of three Finnish musicians, delves deeply into the sounds that surround us and in turn creates its own sublime world of noise. Our world has become a noisier one over the last century, what with the proliferation of industry, telephone networks, and radio. It comes as no surprise then that recorded music, one source of the new noise, is also using these sounds as material for further exploration. Yet Gnomus is no random collection of ambient ...

195

Album Review

Gourmet: Glamour & Decadence

Read "Glamour & Decadence" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich


Self-indulgence is usually a dirty word when applied to music, but in the case of Gourmet and their debut album, Glamour and Decadence, on the Finnish Fiasko Records, it perfectly describes, and compliments, their bizarre brand of music.

Gourmet's stated, and highly unique, goal is to “play original music specifically written for the instrumental combination of saxophone, slide trombone, accordion, electric guitar, double bass and drums." The sources of inspiration could conceivably be endless, since “no style ...


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