Thursday, May 28, 2009

Something to listen to - and something to turn off!

The June-issue of "Jazznytt" features six of my reviews. Heres a little something from a couple of them!

F L Y trio - Sky & Country" - Mark Turner, Jeff Ballard, Larry Grenadier

This american trio has provided a beautiful album on the German label ECM. Mark Turners brittle sound and virtuoso technique strives towards perfection. His damped volume does not at any point lower the expressiveness of his playing - his floating lines and impressive top register is a fantastic achievement, and the music produced is simply stunning. Ballard and Grenadiers tightly intertwined improvisations proves to be the perfect counterweight to Turners brightness on an album filled with great solos, organic interplay, genuine storytelling and distinct propulsion.

Jogujo Circuit - a new tide - Joakim Fr√łystein, Gunnar Halle, Jon Meinild

After meeting at the rythmic conservatory of Copenhagen, nursery of many Norwegian jazzmusicians, Jogujo has released two CDs, the second of which is called "a new tide". Though the links to Tortoise and Jaga Jazzist are more than evident, this band has its distinct voice in the landscape between jazz and electronica. The record also features vocalist Kirsti Huke and drummer Wetle Holte. Her chilled vocal and his acoustic drumming adds life to the cool blue-grey steam of organic electric sounds and inspiring soundscapes that this record presents.

Kjell Karlsen Big Band - Edvard Grieg in Jazz Mood

The renowned Norwegian band-leader Kjell Karlsen wants to make the music of romantic composer Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907) more accessible to a broader audience. However - if this means cheesy funk versions of many of his stunning classics, I think I'll pass... Its to easy to press play on the rhythm-box of your Casio keyboard and improvise around a theme, but this is not nearly enough to make a great record. It just seems that they cut quite a few corners on the way, and this just isn't good enough. The sound is way too much compressed and limited, removing all headroom and makes it exhausting to listen to. Steer away from this!!

I also would like to recommend Streifinjunko - No longer burning. A fantastic free improvised record from the Norwegian duo Eivind L√łnning, trp and Espen Reinertsen, sax.

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