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ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume

Read "Stephan Thelen and Sonar: Minimal Grooves at Maximum Volume" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Sonar
Live at Moods
7d Media
2018

Imagine the gamelan-infused minimalism of 1980s King Crimson crossed with the droning heavy-rock menace of Sunn O))). Imagine Steve Reich if he discovered metal and turned to devil worship. You may be approaching the distinct neighborhood of Sonar, though their strange brew is far ...

ARTICLE: YEAR IN REVIEW

Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2018

Read "Geno Thackara's Best Releases of 2018" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Despite (or in defiant response to) the difficulties of the streaming age, 2018 has seen another musical bumper crop--especially for those of us who particularly love the sound of the piano. There were enough top-notch offerings to make a list at least twice as long, but these have been the most frequent and satisfying staples in ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin At The Bop Stop

Read "Nik Bärtsch's Ronin At The Bop Stop" reviewed by Matt Hooke

Nik Bartsch's Ronin
Bop Stop
Cleveland, Ohio
October 28, 2018

The way Nik Bärtsch dresses reveals a lot about his music. He steps up to the piano wearing a Samue, the traditional dress of Zen Buddhist monks, and sneakers. One represents a spiritual tradition thousands of years old, requiring the utmost ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Nik Bartsch's Ronin at Dazzle

Read "Nik Bartsch's Ronin at Dazzle" reviewed by Geoff Anderson

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin
Dazzle
Denver, CO
October 24, 2018

“Zen Funk." That's how Nik Bärtsch describes his music. “Zen:" the seeking of true enlightenment, often through meditation. “Funk:" a highly rhythmic, syncopated form of music. Zen Funk, yeah, that's it. The funk ranges from subtle to structural to urgent. The ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Nikita Rafaelov: Spirit of Gaia

Read "Spirit of Gaia" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Russia-born pianist Nikita Rafaelov adopted Finland as his homeland, and music as his passion. He began with the classics at an early age before the inspirations of Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and John Coltrane came his way. His jazz recording debut on Copenhagen, Denmark's Gotta Let it Out Records, Spirit of Gaia, is described as: ..."a ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Szun Waves, other new releases and some archive cuts

Read "Szun Waves, other new releases and some archive cuts" reviewed by Bob Osborne

Blurring the boundaries between jazz, ambience and electronica, the sophomore album from Szun Waves New Hymn to Freedom, is the album of the week on the show. This new release is a document of six entirely live improvisations with “no edits or overdubs." The album title is apt, it is jazz, but it also bedded in ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Jazzkaar 2018

Read "Jazzkaar 2018" reviewed by Martin Longley

Jazzkaar 2018
Tallinn, Estonia
April 20-29, 2018

In the year of Estonia's celebrations, having attained a full century as a Republic, its Jazzkaar festival continues to be amongst the very best of the European range. Held annually in Tallinn, and primarily centred around the Telliskivi Creative City, the festival continued ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

Henry Threadgill, Ben LaMar Gay and other great new releases

Read "Henry Threadgill, Ben LaMar Gay and other great new releases" reviewed by Jennifer DeMeritt

This week we check out new releases by some of the most exciting and innovative jazz musicians working today, from established names like Henry Threadgill and Nik Bärtsch to exciting up-and-comers like Ben LaMar Gay.

Happy listening!

Playlist Ben Allison “Mondo Jazz Theme (feat. Ted Nash & Pyeng Threadgill)" 0:00 Ben ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Nik Bartsch's Ronin at Constellation in Chicago

Read "Nik Bartsch's Ronin at Constellation in Chicago" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin
Constellation
Chicago, IL
May 10, 2018

On May 10th 2018, Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch brought his quartet, Ronin to Chicago's Constellation. In the venue's intimate studio B the ensemble stretched out on material from its latest album to date, the sublime Awase (ECM, 2018). It kept the close ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at (Le) Poisson Rouge

Read "Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at (Le) Poisson Rouge" reviewed by Tyran Grillo

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin
(Le) Poisson Rouge
New York, NY
May 6, 2018

On May 6, 2018, Swiss pianist and composer Nik Bärtsch brought his refashioned Ronin outfit to New York City. The band's name comes from the word meaning “masterless samurai," and indeed listeners can't help but feel that ...