Articles

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

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Album Review

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Distilled

Read "Distilled" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


It is tempting to connect a musical aesthetic with a particular place. In fact, the whole idea of national music relies on the concept of an intrinsic national spirit, which creates an original musical expression. The only problem with a concept like national music is that it tends to pigeonhole musicians and create prejudice rather than adventurousness. Then it is great to have an artist like Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs, who is good at turning things around. ...

7

Album Review

Scott McLemore: Remote Location

Read "Remote Location" reviewed by John Kelman


While musicians relocate all the time, moving from the vibrant New York scene to more remote environs might seem an odd choice. After eight years in NYC playing with artists including guitarist Ben Monder and saxophonist Tim Berne, drummer Scott McLemore relocated with wife Sunna Gunnlaugs to her native Iceland following the pianist's decade-plus American stay. McLemore's second album as a leader, Remote Location is his first with an all-Icelandic lineup, suggesting there's plenty of talent on this small island ...

3

Album Review

Scott McLemore: Remote Location

Read "Remote Location" reviewed by Jakob Baekgaard


A change of scenery is a change of sound. At least, this seems to be case with the Virginia-born drummer Scott McLemore, who has been a vital presence on the music scene in New York, but now is part of the significantly smaller, but nevertheless bourgeoning Icelandic jazz community.When McLemore released Found Music on Fresh Sound New Talent in 2006, he enlisted a group of likeminded musicians who reflected the dynamic pulse of the city. Especially saxophonist Tony ...

180

Album Review

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Long Pair Bond

Read "Long Pair Bond" reviewed by William Carey


Several songs on Icelandic pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs' Long Pair Bond, including the ballad “Elsabella," are lilting and beautiful enough to have an almost hypnotic effect. The interplay between Gunnlaugs and bassist Þorgrímur Jónsson is clearly borne out of a great deal of time spent working together. Along with drummer Scott McLemore, who contributed three compositions to this session, the group plays with an empathy for which jazz ensembles strive, especially important in trios such as this.Gunnlaugs has a ...

225

Album Review

Sunna Gunnlaugs: Long Pair Bond

Read "Long Pair Bond" reviewed by John Kelman


With Long Pair Bond, Sunna Gunnlaugs returns to the piano trio format last heard on Far Far Away. Since that 1997 self-titled debut--the only album to use her tongue-twisting full name, Gunnlaugsdóttir--the Icelandic pianist has, in addition to contracting her name to the eminently more memorable Gunnlaugs, recorded almost exclusively with quartets, largely populated with American (or, at least, American-resident) musicians met after moving to the United States in 1993 to study at William Paterson College. Long Pair Bond's return ...

154

Album Review

Dan Pratt Organ Quartet: Springloaded

Read "Springloaded" reviewed by AAJ Staff


DPOQ, as it's named on the cover of Springloaded, stands for the Dan Pratt Organ Quartet, a smokin' band led by tenor saxophonist Dan Pratt. DPOQ draws upon the foundations of organ jazz as set by Jimmy Smith and Larry Young, using modern compositional forms to create up-to-the-minute jazz that combines invention and swing. The members of DPOQ are young and they take no prisoners.

Pratt exemplifies the approach of DPOQ. He composed most of the tunes on ...

162

Album Review

Sunna Gunnlaugs Quartet: Live in Europe

Read "Live in Europe" reviewed by John Kelman


Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko explained, in a recent interview, how the term melancholy does not always have to mean sad; there can be an inherent optimism as well. Pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs, an ex-pat from Iceland who now makes her home in New York City, understands that all too well. She writes music that is tender and romantic, sometimes joyful, but often with just the slightest melancholic edge. That doesn't make her music oppressive or dark, however; amidst the conflicting emotions ...


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