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Jon Opstad


Jon Opstad was born in Bristol in 1983 to a musical family. His first introduction to jazz was at the age of seven on hearing Miles Davis's 'Kind of Blue' and John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme'. Studying first clarinet, piano and saxophone, Jon took up the drums at age 12. Starting composing in his teens, he was a finalist in the 2002 BBC Young Composer of the Year competition. Jon began studying music at Cambridge University in 2002 and recorded his first album 'Still Picture' the following year with some of the best student jazz musicians from Cambridge as well as younger brother James on fretless bass



Label: New Canvas Records
Released: 2007
Track listing: Ochre; Time and Place; Convergence; Sixty-Seven; City Leaves; September Light; Translation.


Article: Album Review

Jon Opstad: Interpretations

Read "Interpretations" reviewed by John Kelman

For his second album as a leader and the third for his own New Canvas Records, British drummer Jon Opstad leaves behind the more overt ECM sensibility of 2004's Still Picture. Well, almost. Interpretations is ostensibly rooted in the music of late-1960s Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock. The references are clear; still, the fluidity, sense of ...



Label: Shanachie
Released: 2006


Still Picture

Label: New Canvas Records
Released: 2004
Track listing: Fjord Song; Three Words; Still Picture; Quiet Place; Athabasca


Article: Album Review

Various Artists: Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake

Read "Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake" reviewed by Jon Opstad

The popularity and appreciation of Nick Drake's music seems to have grown in recent years. Not long ago a tribute programme was broadcast on British radio presented by none other than Brad Pitt, just one indication of the increased exposure Drake's music has received lately. The refreshing thing about Poor Boy: Songs of Nick Drake is ...


Article: Album Review

Jon Opstad: Still Picture

Read "Still Picture" reviewed by Eric J. Iannelli

Twenty-one-year-old British drummer Jon Opstad's full-length début is a remarkably accomplished effort, heavily indebted to the ECM sound--atmospheric, evocative, sparing--but nevertheless supremely listenable and full of promise. Beginning with the introspective and melancholic “Fjord Song," the five tracks meld and blur into a unified sequence of sonic scenes and moods, fading and shifting like a photographic ...


Article: Album Review

Parker/Drumm/Zerang: Out Trios Volume Two

Read "Out Trios Volume Two" reviewed by Jon Opstad

The first thing to make clear here is that this recording is not for a general jazz audience. Those readers who get more than their fair share of white noise when the TV can't get a signal are not going to find a great deal to please their ears within the three quarters of an hour ...


Article: Album Review

Jon Opstad: Still Picture

Read "Still Picture" reviewed by John Kelman

With its 35-year history of landmark recordings, it's no surprise that the German ECM label has spawned its share of imitators. But more importantly it has also encouraged more than one generation of artist, who see its cool, austere aesthetic as a starting point for new directions. From the Nordic cool of Jan Garbarek, the neo-classicism ...


Article: Album Review

Continuum: Act One

Read "Act One" reviewed by Jon Opstad

The first thing to notice about this album, which consists of eight studio tracks recorded in Paris and one live track, is the lineup. Any recording putting together a sextet of this calibre is worth a listen and the results here certainly do not disappoint. There is very much a feel of collaboration to ...


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