All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
Pianist Sten Sandell has recorded for a variety of modern jazz/avant-garde-based labels. This release features the artist in a trio setting, recorded live in Norway and Germany. Better known in Europe, Standell often opts for a muscular attack; and like many of his peers, he derives a fair amount of influence from pianist Cecil Taylor. However, the band comes right at you from the onset of the opening piece, "Mural," thanks to Standell's whirling clusters and kaleidoscopic movements. The rhythm section imaginatively mimics the pianist's torrid pace and swerving patterns via an omnipresent sense of motion and focus. Drummer Paal Nilssen-Love keeps this train a-rolling with a thoroughly musical approach, although the trio is apt to lower the pitch down to a whisper on "Axel" and elsewhere.
Amid all the call-and-response exchanges, Standell generally accelerates the undercurrents with an animated attack, consisting of colossal block chords, well placed harmonics and extremely quick lines on top. The pianist will periodically inject a saccharine melody or two into the overall scheme of things while bassist, Johan Berthling tends to alter the band's dynamic with weeping arco-bass passages and booming lines. The musicians abide by an autonomous approach as they delve into a variety of sub themes in concurrence with more than just a few curiously interesting propositions. Recommended.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...