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ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Rez Abbasi: On balancing picture with music and shifting into Django mode

Read "Rez Abbasi: On balancing picture with music and shifting into Django mode" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

To really distinguish oneself in today's vast universe of guitarists, even within the confines of jazz, more and more resembles a Sisyphus task. When so much has been said and done, a specific tone or distinctive vocabulary alone no longer suffice to set an artist apart from the crowd. It is only through the sum of ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Agnar Mar Magnusson: Mór

Read "Mór" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Agnar Mar Magnusson's blend of Icelandic folk tradition with jazz is of an especially smooth sort. For his newest trio effort--the follow-up to his 2018 adventure Hending, featuring New York guitarist Lage Lund--the Icelandic pianist is not only influenced by folk melodies but actually rearranges original folk songs for trio. To top it off, the trio ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Joshua Redman + Brad Mehldau + Christian McBride + Brian Blade: RoundAgain

Read "RoundAgain" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

None of these men requires introducing to anyone who has even remotely followed the contemporary jazz scene at any point over the past thirty years. Their respective bodies of work have guided and represented jazz throughout the last decades and continue to set the benchmark for original composing and improvising today. 26 years after their much-lauded ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Bendik Hofseth: Trunks

Read "Trunks" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

The first from a run of four albums, collectively titled Forest, Norwegian saxophonist Bendik Hofseth's Trunks sets a cozy tone which pairs minimal interplay with echoing acoustics in a modern mainstream jazz light. His sidemen all belong to the Norwegian jazz elite, most of whom have been recording together for years, prominently so for ECM. Hofseth ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

2 Quartets on We Jazz Records

Read "2 Quartets on We Jazz Records" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Finnish label We Jazz Records is back with two quartet recordings. Both are intriguing in their respective ways, which differ from each other in almost every aspect. Let's have a closer look... Otis Sandsjö Y-Otis 2 We Jazz Records 2020 Berlin-based, Swedish-native saxophonist Otis Sandsjö's sophomore album and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Denin Koch: re: manhattan project

Read "re: manhattan project" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

The conceptual scope of guitarist Denin Koch's debut recording could not be much more ambitious. With Re: Manhattan Project, the young Eastman School of Music graduate contemplates the impact nuclear inventions have had on the world and delivers a powerful ten-composition suite. Each piece is either inspired by an element of the infamous Manhattan Project story ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Michael Sarian: New Aurora

Read "New Aurora" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

With New Aurora, Canadian trumpeter Michael Sarian takes a few steps down a different path to his past projects, leaving bigger ensembles and electric instrumentations behind to focus on ten arrangements carried out in an acoustic quartet setting. In this more dynamic light, the trumpeter is given space to unfold and spread his melodic voice and ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Steve Cardenas: Blue Has A Range

Read "Blue Has A Range" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

It's not easy to pin New York guitarist Steve Cardenas down to a few main attributes. His playing is unassuming, his compositions are equally subtle and his persona possessed of an even more humble nature, leaving him somewhat hidden in the shadows of the contemporary jazz world. Yet the veteran guitarist has been going at it ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Maria Schneider: Data Lords

Read "Data Lords" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Well someone doesn't seem too happy with the digital world. But that's nothing new for Maria Schneider. The Grammy-award winning composer and bandleader has been an outspoken critic of copyright abuses in the digital and streaming world of music for the biggest part of the last decade. On her newest effort, she sets her justified quarrels ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Tom Guarna: Spirit Science

Read "Spirit Science" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

With The Wishing Stones (Destiny Records, 2017) New York-based guitarist Tom Guarna released something of a breakthrough album, featuring a prominently cast quartet made up of Brian Blade on drums, John Patitucci on bass and pianist Jon Cowherd. With that album Guarna perfected his personal style of composition, which sees post-bop language taken to more extensive ...


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