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Kaspar Rast

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Article: BackTracks

Five Albums From Bands That Broadened The Jazz Paradigm

Read "Five Albums From Bands That Broadened The Jazz Paradigm" reviewed by Mike Jacobs


In this installment of BackTracks we take a look at five albums that not only helped expand the jazz paradigm, but also helped establish the band as a re-merging entity (and an ethos) in jazz. Lost TribeMany Lifetimes Arabesque Jazz 1998 In 1998, a first listen to this album ...

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Article: Live Review

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019: Week 2

Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montréal 2019: Week 2" reviewed by Mark Sullivan


Various Venues Festival International de Jazz de Montréal Montréal, Canada July 2-6, 2019 The festival celebrated its 40th anniversary this year with the usual dazzling array of musical offerings. And a few that were unusual: including concerts celebrating the 50th anniversary of ECM Records (founder Manfred Eicher was awarded the Bruce ...

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Article: Live Review

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 ...

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Article: Album Review

Nik Bärtsch: Awase

Read "Awase" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian


The exquisite Awase is Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch's eighth release with his band Ronin. Although the ensemble has had a few personnel changes, the album maintains the creative energy and the spirit of its previous work. The title refers to a principle of martial arts that translates to coming together and an appropriately dynamic ...

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Article: Live Review

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 ...

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Article: Live From Philadelphia

Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at World Cafe Live

Read "Nik Bärtsch's Ronin at World Cafe Live" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Nik Bärtsch's Ronin World Cafe Live jny: Philadelphia, PA May 8, 2018 Of the oddest sights Philadelphia's art scene might offer on any given Tuesday night, a stern-faced figure in samurai hatama whacking a piano with a mallet should probably be in the top five. (Unless there's something like the Fringe ...

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Article: Interview

Nik Bärtsch: Possibility in Paradox

Read "Nik Bärtsch: Possibility in Paradox" reviewed by Geno Thackara


Like the master-less samurai his primary band is named for, Nik Bärtsch forges a path and follows a code all his own. The pianist's music is best described by his own key phrases “ritual groove music" and “Zen funk," merging Eastern minimalist simplicity and patient trance with the interplay and communal aspect of jazz. It makes ...

Article: Album Review

Nik Bärtsch's Mobile: Continuum

Read "Continuum" reviewed by Claudio Bonomi


Nik Bärtsch, pianista svizzero famoso ai più per le sue gesta con i Ronin, torna alla ribalta con un nuovo album che, semmai ce ne fosse ancora bisogno, ne conferma il talento e il genio creativo. Qui è a capo dell'ensemble acustico Mobile, che per l'occasione si esibisce in una formazione allargata includendo ...

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Article: Extended Analysis

Continuum

Read "Continuum" reviewed by John Kelman


Few musicians have continued to hone a concept as singularly unique and instantly recognizable, irrespective of context, as that being explored by Swiss pianist Nik Bärtsch since he first formed Mobile with Don Li, Kaspar Rast and Mats Eser in 1997. First emerging on record in 2001 with Ritual Groove Music (Self-Released, reissued Ronin Rhythm, 2006), ...


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