Somewhere Miles Davis and Teo Macero are smiling. Swedish guitarist Samuel Hällkvist has taken their approach and refined it for the 21st century. What Macero began, with a razor blade and hours of fragmented and seemingly disjointed studio sessions, turned into the infamous Bitches Brew (Columbia, 1970). Hällkvist journeys a similar path, and most significantly here, he travels that path with a unified vision.
For Variety Of Rhythm, a follow up to his BoogiePost recordings Variety Of Live (2015) and Variety Of Loud (2013) (see a pattern here?) outings, he collaborates with a dozen artists, recording tracks in Japan, Portugal, New York, Paris, Belgium, and Scandinavia before weaving them into one 44-minute piece. The music starts with Miles before venturing into minimalism, rock, electronic, and improvisation. Memories of early Pink Floyd, and David Byrne and Brian Eno's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts (Sire, 1981) are dredged up here, but like more recent work from Makaya McCraven, the suture seams are not apparent.
What were the cues given to guitarist David Torn in New York, drummer Yasuhiro Yoshigaki in Tokyo, or saxophonist Paulo Chagas from Portugal? Only Hällkvist knows. The music is a multifaceted cinematic score and hints of its design are in the disc's credits. Among the musicians, he lists Katrine Amsler with the production's edits and sound design. Like Macero was to Miles, Amsler is key to the realization of this project. Here, a sample is not just a sample and a loop is more than a hook. Like the fine collage art pieces from Joseph Cornell or Ray Johnson, the whole cannot be separated by the pieces here. A brilliant recording.
Variety of Rhythm Suite: Double Adagio; A1; Trio 1 Clip 1; Tete-a-Tete / Blivet;
Trio 2 Clip 1; Huly Marga; B1; Improv 1 Chip 3; A2; The Necker Cube; B2; Part
Of Adagio Double; C2; Trio 1 Clip 2; Part Of Tete-a-Tete / Blivet.
Samuel Hällkvist: guitar; Dick Lövgren: bass; David Torn: guitar; Liesbeth
Lambrecht: violin; Pete Drungle: keyboards; Yasuhiro Yoshigaki: drums; Kumiko
Takara: percussion; Qarin Wikström: voice; Knut Finsrud: drums; Paulo Chagas:
saxophones; Silvia Corda, miscellaneous instruments; Adriano Orru: bass;
Katrine Amsler: edit, sound design, programming.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.