Category Archives: reviews

Jazz Magazine review by François-René Simon

CF301Chicago/São Paulo Underground Feat. Pharoah Sanders – Pharoah & The Underground – Spiral Mercury (CF 301)

CF301_Jazzmag

Radio Student review by Ina Puntar

CF317De Beren Gieren / Susana Santos Silva – The Detour Fish (Live in Ljubljana) (CF 317)
V tokratni Tolpi bumov bomo prisluhnili prvi plošči zasedbe De Beren Gieren, združene s trobentačico Susano Santos Silvo. Album z naslovom The Detour Fish je izšel pri nas že dobro poznani založbi Clean Feed. Le-ta nam v zadnjem času vse pogosteje predstavlja glasbenike, ki se gibajo nekje med jazzom in prosto improvizacijo. In tako je tudi v primeru sledečega albuma, ki je bil posnet na lanskem Jazz festivalu v Ljubljani, predstavljen pa bo jutri v okviru Cankarjevih torkov.

Ker smo se s trobentačico Susano Santos Silvo na Radiu srečali že vsaj dvakrat, sledi na tem mestu kratka predstavitev druge strani tega sodelovanja, ki nam je še nepoznana. Belgijski trio De Beren Gieren oziroma Vreščeči medvedje je združitev treh mladih glasbenikov v želji po odkrivanju novega terena na področju improvizacije. Sicer gre za standardni klavirski trio, katerega jedro je, kot po navadi, pianist Fulco Ottervanger. Na kontrabasu gode Lieven Van Pée, za bobni pa sedi Simon Segers. Trio večinoma izvaja kompozicije Fluca Ottervangerja, njihova želja pa je občinstvu pokazati, da kljub navidezni zastarelosti oziroma običajnosti klavirskega tria obstajata nov prostor in zvok, ki prinašata svežino tej zasedbi.

Sicer trio De Beren Gieren in Susana Santos Silva govorijo podoben jezik. Vsi so namreč šolani jazzerji. To se močno odraža tudi v glasbi, ki jo bomo slišali. Virtuoznost izvajalcev, še posebej Santosove, je na nekaj mestih prav osupljiva. A je na žalost velikokrat sama sebi namen. In čeprav se vsi nagibajo k prosti improvizaciji, se to najbolj odraža le v formi, ki je delno aranžirana in na drugih delih prosta. Razširjene tehnike igranja uporablja le Susana in v redkih primerih tudi basist Simon. Santos tu izčrpno izrablja celoten inštrument, ga prepihava, z njim škripa, cvili, piska in ritmizira. Njeno igranje je precizno in dobro domišljeno, a vse prehitro preide iz improviziranih odsekov v ustaljene jazzovske vzorce in fraze.

Sicer album The Detour Fish poteka kot serija pripetljajev, ki bi se lahko zgodili ribi, ki je zašla oziroma je na obvozu. Naslovi komadov, Battle with Fishelf, Under Swirling Waters, Aquarium Benefits in drugi, so izredno ilustrativni in morda jih izvajalci interpretirajo skoraj preveč dobesedno. De Beren Gieren in Santos se drugače na albumu dobro ujamejo. Glasbeni material si pogosto podajajo, še posebej pianist Fulco in trobentačica Santos, ga nadgrajujejo in glasba nas kar nekako popelje čez celoten album. Kot bi bili sami sopotniki na tej poti raziskovanja stranpoti jazza. Ob drugih priložnostih pa je glasba precej statična in se premiki dogajajo bolj v notranjosti, v malih šumih in dromljanjih posameznih akterjev. Ti momenti so še posebej zanimivi, saj se tudi Santos, ki je sicer večinoma v ospredju, potopi v zvočno gmoto in s trobento pridoda razne zanimive zvočne teksture. Na žalost takih trenutkov ni prav dosti, saj kvartet hitro preide nazaj na ustaljeno pot prevladujočega solista in harmonske osnove, ki jo po navadi nudi trio. V teh primerih pa slišimo vse od liričnih melodij preko hitrih pasaž, ki jih Santos tehnično izvrstno odigra, do ritmično osnovanih fraz, ki nas vodijo v poplesavanje ali modernejše »groovanje«.

Album The Detour Fish je posrečen spoj štirih ustvarjalcev, ki mislijo podobno. In zgoščenka resnično zveni kot zaključena celota. Obregnili bi se lahko le ob navedbo založbe, da izvajalci na tem ploščku želijo poiskati nova obzorja z obzirom na tradicijo jazza, saj večino glasbe na albumu ogrnejo prav s to tradicijo, tako harmonsko, melodično in tehnično.

http://radiostudent.si/glasba/tolpa-bumov/de-beren-gieren-susana-santos-silva-the-detour-fish-live-in-ljubljana

Music and More review by Tim Niland

CF315CDChris Lightcap’s Bigmouth – Epicenter (CF 315)
Bassist Chris Lightcap has worked with a who’s-who of A-list modern jazz talent, but as of yet has released comparatively few albums as a leader. His latest finds him in august company, with Craig Taborn on keyboards, Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek on tenor saxophone and Gerald Cleaver on drums. The ensemble works very well together and the music is consistently interesting. “Nine South” opens with electric piano and saxophones as the music blasts off fast and hard, carving a deep and truly exciting path. Both the solos and ensemble playing is first rate, including percussive keyboards and punishing drums. The saxophones roar out of the gate on “Epicenter,” giving way to a thick and nimble piano, bass and drums section. After some initial probing by one of the saxophonists, the whole group comes in with the power and urgency of a big band, not necessarily playing free, but unencumbered and thrillingly fast. “Down East” develops a powerfully percussive rhythm to underscore squalls of saxophone that achieve an exciting feel, like being bludgeoned by a tidal wave of music. Saxophones slither about on “Stilwell” building the anticipation piece by piece in the shadow of a shape-shifting keyboards before they rip through and fly intertwined over throbbing bass and drums. There is a solemn and reverent feel to “Stone By Stone” with saxophone elegies and beams of keyboard building up with the horns fleshing out their sound along with some elastic bass but the overall sense of mystery prevails. Ending the album by covering The Velvet Underground’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties” was a truly inspired idea where the bass led intro builds to percussive piano that recalls the original and vocalized saxophone ably taking the place of Nico’s moody vocals. This album was excellent and deserves to be remembered when the best-of lists are bandied about in December. The musicians are motivated, and the music is bright and bustling with ideas.

http://jazzandblues.blogspot.pt/2015/04/chris-lightcaps-bigmouth-epicenter.html

Free Jazz review by Stef

CF311Grünen – Pith and Twig (CF 311)
****½
Their debut album of 2010 has turned into the name of the trio consisting of Achim Kaufmann on piano, Robert Landfermann on bass and Christian Lillinger on drums. Their sophomore release delivers the promise of the first one, and we can only be sad that it took four years to hear them again on record.

Some tracks are very short, built around composed ideas, quite inventive, and full of open and unexpected interactions, others are longer, such as the albums centerpiece, “Foliage Misconstrued”, which is a nervous, angular, intense seventeen minute workout, with all three instruments giving their best in a complex dynamic that is both physical and lyrical, full of contradictions and inherent tension that suddenly turns into a slow eery soundscape, full of dark rumblings and distant scraping.

On “Chitin”, the extended techniques reign to create an ominous atmosphere of fragility and vulnerability, hesitating to see how far sounds can be stretched before they burst. “Mobiliar” brings us a percussion-heavy almost boppish intro that shapeshifts into a calmer, refreshing, middle section, then shapeshifting again into an open improvisation with percussive hits on drums and piano creating a context for Landfermann’s bass to demonstrate sonic pecularities.

The music leads you in many directions, of nervous agitation, playful boppish treats, calm precision and avant-garde explorations into the nature of sonic interaction, and most often all in the same track.

Again, three outstanding musicians who bring us some of the best piano bass drums music around.

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2015/01/piano-trios.html

Jazzlyden review by Arild R. Andersen

CF314Zanussi 5 – Live in Coimbra (CF 314)
*****
Det er perspektiv over denne nye liveutgivelsen fra Zanussi 5, og det overrasker slett ikke. Bassist og komponist Per Zanussi har etablert seg blant de fremste og mest spennende på den europeiske jazzscenen, og kvintetten Zanussi 5 har en fremskutt plass i mannens virksomhet. Bandet ble startet i 2001 og har flere lysende utgivelser bak seg. Spesialutgaven av bandet, Zanussi Thirteen, utga Live i 2012. Den er en av mine personlige favoritter fra de senere årene.

Live in Coimbra er tatt opp i Portugal og fanger inn kvaliteter som med fordel kan fremmes fra en scene: liv, lek og musikalsk tyngde. Bandets blåserseksjon består av Kjetil Møster, EirikHegdal og Jørgen Mathisen og kan nærmest betraktes som en preseteristrekke av skaperkraft og tekniske evner.

Første spor, «Celestial», flyter samtidsmusikalsk stille og uttrykker en sår grunnstemning. Perspektivet snus i «Blood flower» som lar jazzens markører overta. Blåserne lar melodiøse temaer hekte seg på Zanussis sirkulære basslinjer. Gard Nilssens trommespill er nyanserikt og formidler et overskudd som hever musikken. Det oppleves som om flere jazzepoker møtes i forståelse. «Hidden people» tar sin egen retning og har et lett og løftet vesen. Jeg liker måten forholdet mellom kollektiv og solister balanseres. Det er også slik at disse fem utøverne har en musikalsk personlighet med egenverdi. De ytrer seg med sitt, samtidig som de formidler selve bandets idé. Live in Coimbra rommer bred variasjon og samler alle sine uttrykk til et stramt hele.

CF317De Beren Gieren / Susana Santos Silva – The Detour Fish (Live in Ljubljana) (CF 317)
*****
Europasamarbeid
For en ukes tid siden spilte Susana Santos Silva konsert med den svenske bassisten Torbjörn Zetterberg på Mir i Oslo. Det var første gang jeg hørte den unge, portugisiske trompetisten live, og hun gjorde inntrykk. På The Detour fish spiller Silva sammen med den belgiske trioen De Beren Gieren. De fire har latt seg inspirere av ørretens evne til å forsere hindringer og gå mot strømmen. Et opphold ved ørretelvene i franske Auvergne, samt Franz Schuberts Ørretkvintett skal også ha inspirert.

Det mest slående ved kvartettens musikk er hvordan det kontemporære inngår vellykkede allianser med jazzen og underliggende romantiske 1800-talls idéer. I likhet med Zanussi 5 formidler de med overskudd og høyt kreativt energinivå. Viljen til å søke seg frem, har de åpenbart til felles med ørreten, og de lykkes med å nå frem til noe nytt. Jeg sitter igjen med opplevelsen av at stoffet er deres, at De Beren Gieren og Susana Santos Silva tar eierskap i egen musikk. I likhet med Schubert gir kvartetten rom for improvisasjon, og det er nettopp denne som levendegjør det komponerte. Susana Santos Silva og pianist Fulco Ottervanger har skrevet det meste. Det er slående hvordan alle legger kraft i det avdempede og hvordan de tekniske ferdighetene tar dem vidt omkring.

På hver sine måter understreker disse albumene at jazzen ikke står stille. Zanussi 5, De Beren Gieren og Susana Santos Silva er med i den europeiske fortroppen. Begge utgivelser gir lyd til 2015.

http://www.aftenposten.no/kultur/Jazzlyden-av-2015-7867675.html

Free Jazz review by Chris Haines

CF312CDLuis Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio – The Line (CF 312)
****
Masayuki Takayanagi used to encourage his students to have their own guitar trio, seeing it as the definitive ensemble for a guitarist to be able to learn, experiment within and lead. This was the unit that he felt his students could be ambitious with, the trio equally providing the basic elements of melody, harmony and rhythm. Many guitarists enjoy working within a traditional trio format of bass, drums & guitar and there are many great albums that have pushed the boundaries whilst using these instrumental forces. Luis Lopes is no different in this respect and he has previously released two excellent albums using the trio to great effect: What is When with Adam Lane & Igal Foni as well as the first album by the Lisbon Berlin Trio, comprising of Christian Lillinger (drums), Robert Landfermann (bass) & Lopes himself on guitar.

So it was with great excitement and expectant anticipation that I approached this album, especially after the excellent debut, which was a near masterpiece within the genre and complete with the same line-up.

The opener is Dark Suite (Prologue) providing a quiet and gentle, but slightly sinister start to the album with its tentatively bowed double bass, delicate percussion and diminished guitar motives. The feeling of this piece being revisited, altered and expanded further on its sister track Dark Suite (Epilogue) later in the album. At the heart of this album is the thirteen minute Mother Snake, a busy, industrious and chaotic sounding piece, which is full of energy during the first half of the track. The second half continues with the noise based material but in a continuous drone based way, discarding the more pointillistic texture of the beginning and creating an over-arching binary form where the two textures both contrast and compliment each other. Unlike the debut where there was a fine balance between the flowing free jazz playing and the forays into free improv, The Line places its emphasis slightly more on the noise-based materials and fragmented free improvisational textures.

It certainly seems that this trio is Luis Lopes’ experimentation unit that forges ahead with the sonic explorations that his other projects might benefit from in a more refined and subtler way. Having said that I much prefer the rough forms and purely creative play that the Lisbon Berlin Trio has to offer over that of his other work. This is at times a demanding album and due to the selection of materials that are worked with it is not as immediate as the debut, but the eventual pay-off is nearly as great.

http://www.freejazzblog.org/2015/02/luis-lopes-lisbon-berlin-trio-line.html

Expresso review by João Santos

CF318Tony Malaby’s Tubacello – Scorpion Eater (CF 318)
****
A acompanhar a receção crítica às suas mais inusuais formações, no jazz contemporâneo é normal impor-se um ponto que se propõe disputar a acracia que lhes é implícita e se resume nestes termos: é essencialmente subversiva ou apenas dispersiva a energia que da sua dinâmica resulta? Isto é, a insólita disposição dos seus elementos é mais uma das suas marcas de distinção ou será a única? Tony Malaby, que surge aqui à frente de um conjunto em que se une a um tubista (Dan Peck), a um violoncelista (Christopher Hoffman) e a um baterista (John Hollenbeck), e conforme se depreende pelo modo em que arruma o assunto, nunca quis tornar uma questão acessória da outra: “Há um contínuo mistério no som da tuba: de onde vem, qual a sua origem, em que lugar se situa na esfera de ação do grupo. [Possui] uma dimensão de que gosto muito.” Aliás, não seria aos 50 anos que substituiria uma convenção por outra. Na verdade, e independentemente da maneira em que se apresenta, a sua produção permanece extraordinariamente avessa a fórmulas. Quanto muito – e o título deste seu disco, só na aparência acerbo, ao inspirar-se por uma criança que adora chupa-chupas de escorpião parece apontar nesse sentido – utiliza-a para assinalar preconceitos a que jamais adere. Ou seja, não é por partilhar a instrumentação que, não há muito, Dave Douglas reuniu em “Mountain Passages” ou, há um pouco mais, e também excluindo o trompete, Arthur Blythe acomodou em “Metamorphosis”, que dos dois se irá aproximar. Até porque, acre e doce e obtusa e aguda e venenosa e sadia, esta é uma música imune ao cinismo. Simplesmente é.