Norwegian vocal artist Stine Janvin Motland is known for highly original, extended vocal techniques. Her range and imagination mark new frontiers for the natural acoustics of the human voice. Motland previously recorded with drummer Ståle Liavik Solberg in MotSol, and with he and local sax hero Frode Gjerstad, plus American cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm in the quartet VCDC. She has slap worked with her home-town, Stavanger-based Kitchen Orchestra and collaborated with other Scandinavian sonic innovators like Maja Ratkje and Mats Gustafson. Her two solo albums feature two different forms. Stine Janvin motland OK Wow +3dB 2014 ...read more
These two guest appearances demonstrate that pianist Matthew Shipp has become an elder statesman in the jazz world. How that happened can be boiled down to two simple elements. One: he has created a unique sound and language for improvised music and two: Shipp has become a doyen of cutting edge music making and opinion. Perhaps all of this could be foretold from his early apprenticeship in David S. Ware and Roscoe Mitchell's bands, and his collaborations with the likes of William Parker, Joe Morris, and Mat Maneri. He has also explored classical music, hip-hop, and electronica as ...read more
Given the late Jim Morrison's fascination with media, plus the film school experience he shared with Ray Manzarek, it's more than a little fitting The Doors have unveiled their own computer app. Few rock bands have their own app, apart from those centered on a specific release, but then, few have the near half-century history to draw upon, as do The Doors. Subtitled An Immersive Journey," the app certainly is that. With a dense multi-layered menu of music, images and prose, all features are, as stated in the user guide, embedded within the app making ideal for your ...read more
Ever since the 2009 debut of the Motion Trio, Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado has sought to broaden the options available through the addition of more fire power. On both Burning Live (Jazz Ao Centro, 2012) and The Flame Alphabet (Not Two, 2012), Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop occupied that berth, his garrulous melodicism proving a winning match to Amado's brusque tenor. Two years on and the reedman has a different collaborator on board, as American trumpeter Peter Evans joins him on a brace of recordings, one live and one in the studio. In this edition of the band the ...read more
Innovative Dutch vocal artist Jaap Blonk has created his own highly personal sound poetry. His vocal acrobatics are still an essential element of his sound palette but not an exclusive one. Since 2000 Blonk has developed new means and methods to expand and experiment with his vocals, with live sampling of his vocals, addition of electronics, morphing and mutating his voice with his own software and with like-minded improvisers. His latest three releases feature the breadth of his musical language. Jaap Blonk Songs of Little Sleep Kontrans 2014 This ...read more
The French double bassist Benjamin Duboc and drummer Didier Lasserre have created together a unique, highly personal language. Their inventive and telepathic interplay can stir emotional storms produced with minimal, almost evasive elements and color any collaboration with vivid, spell-binding moods. Their latest improvised collaborations with baritone saxophonist Daunik Lazro and pianist Henri Roger demonstrate Duboc and Lasserre's greatness. Daunik Lazro / Benjamin Duboc / Didier Lasserre Sens Radiants Dark Tree Records 2014 The French boutique label has released only four albums so far. All are remarkable masterpieces ...read more
Laurence Crane is a contemporary composer who was born in Oxford in 1961. He has said of his music, I use simple and basic musical objects-- common chords and intervals, arpeggios, drones, cadences, fragments of scales and melodies. The materials may seem familiar, perhaps even rather ordinary, but my aim is to find a fresh beauty in these objects by placing them in new structural and formal contexts." Crane's compositions have frequently been played in concert. Apart from tracks on compilations, it has not been easy to track down recordings featuring his music, the most notable exception being ...read more
The polish For Tune label was founded in 2013 and has already managed to release 30 albums that feature some of the lesser known yet intriguing Polish outfits. The three outfits presented below all feature a fresh, unconventional perspective on the jazz idiom, its legacy and its inclusive current and future sonic language. The label succeeded in attracting acclaimed musicians from the other side of the Atlantic who released live albums, including double bassist William Parker Quartet, Mary Halvorson Trio and Anthony Braxton Quartet. In 2014 the label plans to release a collaboration between British sax hero Evan Parker and ...read more
For a time, Led Zeppelin was one of the biggest--if not the biggest--bands in the world, eclipsing the Rolling Stones, the Who...even the Beatles. Born out of the ashes of the Yardbirds--even operating, very briefly, under the moniker the New Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin came to symbolize the word hard in hard rock," its ear-bursting, high-decibel performances the epitome of heavy. But from the very beginning, the brainchild of the Yardbirds' last lead guitarist--and final member of the big three" of British rock guitar gods to pass through the group, which also included, at different and sometimes synchronous times, Eric Clapton ...read more
Chicago, the rock band, is not what you remember. Well, it is, but it's also more than that. The Chicago you remember is the hit machine of the '70s: 25 or 6 to 4," Beginnings," Make Me Smile," Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?" and many others. Of course, Chicago is also the wimp rock machine of the '80s: Hard to Say I'm Sorry," Hard Habit to Break," You're the Inspiration" and Will You Still Love Me?" Rough stuff. But wait--there's a third Chicago, the band you don't remember, and maybe never heard. It ...read more
Classically trained pianist turned organist Brian Charette is an accomplished master of the Hammond B3 with an elegant yet passionate touch. His signature style imbues the many recordings of his various ensembles with a light, crisp sound and an effervescent melodicism that is, unapologetically, mainstream without being pedestrian. In 2014 Charette cut two charmingly seductive albums that delight and gratify without experimenting with innovation or breaking any radically new ground. Brian Charette The Question That Drives Us Steeplechase Records 2014 His sixth release on the Danish Steeplechase label The Question That Drives Us ...read more
Since its inception, the Finnish Tum label's aim was to document the current, local jazz scene and to position it in a broader perspective--from seminal influences by local heroes, musicians from the first generation of Finnish Jazz, and formative forces from European jazz, mainly the Scandinavian ones. Almost 80-year old sax hero Juhani Aaltonen, born in 1935, embodies this vision perfectly as a musician who began his professional career alin 1958 and performed with all the great Finnish jazz musicians, including late drummer Edward Vesala, pianist Heikki Sarmanto, European heroes like Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, Danish trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg, Norwegian ...read more
Guitarist Dom Minasi is an innovative, searching musician that needs no introduction. His two new intimate duo albums feature him in two completely different situations: one playful and emphatic,one experimental and challenging. He excels on both, demonstrating again and again his consummate command of his instrument and the improvised form of his art. Dom Minasi & Michael Jefry Stevens Angel Dance--Improvisations for Guitar and Piano Nachti Records 2013 Minasi and pianist Michael Jefry Stevens met for the first time in 1995 while recording the Stevens-Dominic Duval quintet Elements (Leo, 1996). These ...read more
Long gone are the days when the flute was only seen as a jazz novelty or a saxophonist's double. Once upon a time you could count the number of notable jazz flautists on a hand (or two), but the ranks have swelled a little bit over the years, and those leading the charge today aren't content with working the same exact angles as their predecessors. An ambitious crop of flute players are out there shaking things up nowadays. Ali Ryerson's Game Changer (Capri, 2013) lived up to its name, proving that flutes could fill out a big ...read more
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