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Jazz - Verschenen op 8 mei 2020 | ECM

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To mark the 75th birthday of Keith Jarrett, his long-time partner has compiled an album of five tracks available exclusively on Qobuz. This close friend of the American pianist happens to be Manfred Eicher, producer and founder of ECM, Keith Jarrett’s label for almost 50 years. On the 10th of November 1971, Jarrett was alone at his piano and Eicher was behind the console cutting the pianist’s first record with ECM: Facing You. “I don’t even know anymore how many records we have made together”, the German producer told Qobuz some years ago. “But looking at this collection retrospectively, it was quite an amazing achievement. The continuity! Everything down to continuity! This is where you can create new things and develop them.” With dynamic group performances and solo improvisations of great depth, this Sequence by Keith Jarrett curated especially for Qobuz by Manfred Eicher, unveils the extraordinary creativity of the great pianist in a variety of musical contexts. Choosing from such an extensive discography couldn’t have been easy and Keith Jarrett 75 offers tracks in solo, duet, trio and quartet… The record opens with Never Let Me Go recorded in January 1983 with bass player Gary Peacock and drummer Jack DeJohnette, an extract from Standards, Vol.2. The song represents the beginnings of a great trio which never ceased to reinvent itself, endlessly referring back to the great pages of jazz history… This intense flurry of improvisation is followed by Creation, Part VII, recorded in the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome on the 11th of July 2014, taken from the album Creation; a long string of chords which evoke Jarrett’s ties to the classical repertoire… Next up, a spot of retro on the third title, Personal Mountains, recorded on the 16th of April 1979 in Tokyo with saxophonist Jan Garbarek, bass player Palle Danielsson and drummer Jon Christensen, and taken from the album Sleeper released only in July 2012. The track is packed with lyricism and fury and reminds us of how these Scandinavian sidemen allow the American to develop an original discourse. On No Moon at All recorded in 2007 bass player Charlie Haden and released three years later on the album Jasmine, we are met with a magic and moving reunion after thirty years of separation as they jump at each-other’s throats. The combination of these egos produces an ethereal and sublime interaction…. To finish off this celebration, Manfred Eicher returns to the Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette trio with Flying, Part 1, an extract from the album Changes. While it was recorded during the sessions for the albums Standards, Vol.1 and Vol. 2 in January 1983, this recording displays a very Jarrett sense of improvisation and demonstrates his interactions with rhythm sections to which he leaves a large degree of freedom. A magical finale for a musician whose universe seems infinite. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 21 februari 2020 | Nonesuch

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According to Pat Metheny, From This Place is not just another album to add to his already super-size discography. “I have been waiting my whole life to make this record,” the guitarist from Missouri says outright. “It’s a kind of musical culmination, reflecting a wide range of expressions that have interested me over the years, scaled across a large canvas, presented in a way that offers the kind of opportunities for communication that can only be earned with a group of musicians who have spent hundreds of nights together on the bandstand.” With his longtime collaborator, drummer Antonio Sanchez along with bassist Linda May Han Oh, pianist Gwilym Simcock and the Hollywood Studio Symphony conducted by Joel McNeely, Metheny begins his ambitious project with a composition of over thirteen minutes, America Undefined, centred around a beautiful arrangement by Gil Goldstein. The lyricism of the theme, the theatrical arches and the inspired but never over zealous interjections from the guitar come together to form this majestic landscape. Pat Metheny manages to avoid falling into the classic traps of symphonic jazz, instead proving to be quite the master of creating an amazing melodic line. This is not surprising, as already with the release of As Falls Wichita, So Falls Wichita Falls with ECM in 1981, an album he made with keyboard player Lyle Mays (who passed away 15 days before the release of From This Place), he excelled in perfectly calibrated lyrical narration. This level of craftsmanship returns on Same River, a prime example of the kind of composition that could easily fall into the banal or the tear-jerking but manages to remain purely beautiful. With Meshell Ndegeocello on vocals, Grégoire Maret on the harmonica and Luis Conte on percussion for certain tracks, the American guitarist has carefully chosen his guests, whose contributions only serve to confirm the precision of Metheny’s vision, a concept much more easily understood after listening to the album in full. © Max Dembo/Qobuz
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Moderne jazz - Verschenen op 12 juni 2020 | Blue Note

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There was The Beatles by The Beatles, The Stooges by The Stooges, Cypress Hill by Cypress Hill, Metallica by Metallica – the list goes on. Naming an album after yourself tends to signal either the first chapter of your music, or the final one. For GoGo Penguin, GoGo Penguin represents the latter as a brief decade of enchanting musical exploration draws to a close for pianist Chris Illingworth, drummer Rob Turner and bassist Nick Blacka. The Manchester trio had established their own unique style and their well-balanced blend of contemporary jazz, electronic music and minimalism is captured perfectly in this 2020 vintage. With an album like this, GoGo Penguin increasingly move away from the legacy left behind by EST (the defunct Esbjörn Svensson Trio), the masters of minimalism (Steve Reich, Philip Glass) and of electronic music (Aphex Twin, Roni Size) who were their main influences in their early days. Illingworth explains, “What I’ve been able to do on the piano – it’s the sort of thing I’ve been trying to get towards, in what I can physically play and what I can do to express who I am. And I know that the other guys take the same pride themselves in what they’ve contributed. We’ve all found our place, we’ve all got that confidence of being able to say, ‘This is how I want to play my instrument, and this is how we want to play as a band – that thing we’ve always been aiming for”. For the first time, GoGo Penguin took their time to make this album and spent six months writing and two weeks recording and experimenting. It was a relatively calm experience but also emotional, as Turner explains, “This time, there's a lot more facing the realities of becoming older, facing mortality, and watching people that you care about being very close to death. At the same time, Chris (Illingworth) became a dad. The longer you live, the more complicated your reality becomes, so we felt our music had to reflect that”. And this is reflected in the improvisations as well as the ambient lyrical flights in GoGo Penguin, inflected with deep emotional resonance. In F Maj Pixie, the power behind Nick Blacka’s bassline acts like the beating heart of the track. Overall, this fifth studio album is all about emotion and delicate melodies. The clean production is free of unnecessary flourishes and GoGo Penguin get straight to the point in GoGo Penguin. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Moderne jazz - Verschenen op 27 maart 2020 | ECM

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After a beautiful introspective debut for the label ECM, Avishai Cohen changes gears with his band Big Vicious. A unique cast around the Israeli trumpeter boasts two drummers (Aviv Cohen and Ziv Ravitz), an electric bass player (Yonatan Albalak) and a guitarist (Uzi Ramirez). This jazz-wielding quintet grew up with a thousand other sounds in mind. Hence this assembly of plural sound textures from electronic music as well as rock, classical, pop and trip hop. We are treated to big and improbably leaps, such as the one between Massive Attack and Beethoven, the two names whose works Big Vicious revisits (Teardrop and Moonlight Sonata). Avishai Cohen sometimes seems to be wearing the clothes of his elders Jon Hassell and Don Ellis. In particular, he tones down his leader's aura to let the quintet advance as one. It is precisely the homogeneity and atmospheric sound of Big Vicious that makes the whole original. And whether the compositions are trippy (Intent), uptempo (King Kutner) or downright experimental (Fractals), they share a real unique narrative force. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 27 maart 2020 | Blue Note Records

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Her mentor Prince said her voice could melt snow. A gift confirmed on The Women Who Raised Me, Kandace Springs' third album, which is quietly earning the artist a place at the heart of the vast family of contemporary jazz'n'soul singers. As the title of her 2020 release suggests, the Nashville native living in New York pays tribute to all those who influenced and inspired her, from Ella Fitzgerald to Roberta Flack, Astrud Gilberto, Lauryn Hill, Billie Holiday, Diana Krall, Carmen McRae, Bonnie Raitt, Sade, Nina Simone, Dusty Springfield and especially Norah Jones, one of her idols, who features on a track (Angel Eyes). Produced, like Soul Eyes, (her first album of 2016) by the expert in ultra-slick sound Larry Klein, The Women Who Raised Me also brings on board the saxophonists David Sanborn (I Put a Spell on You) and Chris Potter (Gentle Rain, Loneliness), trumpeter Avishai Cohen (I Can't Make You Love Me and Pearls), bassist Christian McBride (Devil May Care) and the flautist Elena Pinderhughes (Ex-Factor and Killing Me Softly With His Song). They bring virtuoso refinement to this album's collection of well-chosen covers. Special mention must go to Sade's Pearls, spurred on by a purring Avishai Cohen, and Lauryn Hill's Ex-Factor. This album also confirms the instrumental talents of Kandace Springs, who is just as comfortable at the piano as at the Fender Rhodes. A restrained virtuoso helped by the reserved trio of Steve Cardenas on guitar, Scott Colley on bass and Clarence Penn on drums. It is this ocean of subtlety and finely-measured power that makes these covers, sung with sensuality but above all conviction, very endearing. © Clotilde Maréchal / Qobuz
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Vocale jazz - Verschenen op 19 juni 2020 | Blue Note Records

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Jazz - Verschenen op 10 juli 2020 | Nonesuch

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Joshua Redman, Brad Mehldau, Christian McBride and Brian Blade. A mere glance at RoundAgain’s line-up is enough to arouse a sense of collective hysteria among jazz fans. The original members of Joshua Redman's first quartet haven’t recorded together since MoodWing was released in 1994. “We would have done it ten years ago if it were up to me”, explains Mehldau, “Josh, Christian and Brian are all my heroes. It’s like playing with The Avengers!” It’s a worthy comparison seeing as these four really are considered superheroes in today’s jazzosphere. In almost a quarter of a century, their aura and playing has developed in an exponential way, to the point that the quartet has achieved an irrevocable spiritual chemistry. On this brand-new album (three compositions by Redman, two by Mehldau, and one each for McBride and Blade), they immediately show off a bond which allows them to perform extraordinary and colossal swing. Under the hood of this sparkling, perplexing yet vintage Rolls Royce of a record, RoundAgain is a meaningful four-way conversation. From beginning (Undertow) to end (Your Part to Play), mutual respect is at the heart of their drive and direction; even Redman’s verbose saxophone never steals the spotlight. Let’s just hope that we won’t have to wait another 26 years before they do it all again… © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 20 maart 2020 | World Circuit

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Jazz - Verschenen op 6 december 2019 | Decca (UMO)

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Jazz - Verschenen op 22 november 2019 | Craft Recordings

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In 1954, Chet Baker was named trumpeter of the year by the American jazz press. Miles Davis wrote in his autobiography, “I think he knew he didn’t deserve it over Dizzy and a lot of other trumpet players. [...] Both him and me knew that he had copied a lot of sh*t from me”. Whatever Miles may have said or written, Chet Baker’s name was certainly on everyone’s lips in the 1950’s. Even when he played alongside some of the best musicians in the business like Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan and Russ Freeman, Baker still held his own. The angel-faced musician based in Los Angeles played a pivotal role in the development of cool/West Coast jazz and in 1958 he signed a four-album contract with Riverside Records, a New York label who was captivated by his music. The complete collection of The Legendary Riverside Albums, released in autumn 2019, is a compilation of essential tracks showcasing a musician far more versatile than he may at first appear, who glamorized California’s cool jazz but was also able to work alongside hard bop heavyweights from the East Coast. In addition to these four re-mastered albums in Hi-Res 24-Bit, he compiled a number of alternative takes from these sessions into a fifth album.The first of these four albums (Chet Baker Sings) It Could Happen to You, released in October 1958, shows his originality as he has a modern take on standards such as How Long Has This Been Going On? and Old Devil Moon. Unlike his business partner Bill Grauer, producer Orrin Keepnews was initially reluctant to welcome Chet Baker to his label and therefore didn’t produce this first album. But as it happens, after hearing Chet’s singing accompanied by Kenny Drew on piano, George Morrow and Sam Jones on double bass and Philly Joe Jones and Dannie Richmond on drums, Keepnews ended up being seriously impressed. Compared with the great singers of the time Chet Baker was just as innovative with his vocals as he was when playing his instrument. He stayed true to himself and his own style – which is a real testament to his character.One month later he was back in the studio working on Chet Baker in New York, which was released in 1959 featuring Johnny Griffin on saxophone, Al Haig on piano and Paul Chambers on double bass. This album really raised the bar as the musicians take on some exquisite solos in ballads such as Polka Dots and Moonbeams and much more up-tempo hits such as the lively Hotel 49. Perhaps the most impressive of the lot is the album Chet, recorded on December 30 th 1959 and 19 th January 1959, featuring pianist Bill Evans, guitarist Kenny Burrell, flutist Herbie Mann and saxophonist Pepper Adams. You can hear the languor of Chet’s playing more than ever as the music takes on an all-new impressionistic feel and Evans’ wonderful phrases on piano are completely in sync.From the first few seconds of the opening track of this masterpiece, Alone Together, with its stunning cover (Chet with model Rosemary “Wally” Coover, photographed by Melvin Sokolsky), the sensual and minimalist style give the album a more modern style. Later in July of that same year (1959), he recorded Chet Baker Plays the Best of Lerner & Loewe to round off his brief episode with Riverside Records. It covers Broadway hits from musicals such as My Fair Lady, Gigi, Brigadoon and Paint Your Wagon by lyricist Alan Jay Lerner and composer Frederick Loewe. Chet is once again joined by Bill Evans, Pepper Adams and Herbie Mann here, as well as saxophonist Zoot Sims. His repertoire is just as distinctive as ever as he makes an esthetic sleight of hand when covering these tracks by adding his melancholic phrasing. Great music. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 14 februari 2020 | ECM

Hi-Res Booklet Onderscheidingen Choc de Classica
A sage piano stylist audibly influenced by Basie and Monk among others, Carla Bley has over the past 60 years also become one of jazz's preeminent composers. Originally influenced by '60s jazz avant-garde, Bley, as evidenced by her latest, Life Goes On, has fashioned her own jazz ethos—what ECM's Manfred Eicher has called her "radical originality." In jazz groups of any size longevity is often impossible as the essence of the music is often dependent on the potential of new combinations of talent, and yet a large part of Bley's recent success is keyed by her working trio of bassist/life partner Steve Swallow and saxophonist Andy Sheppard, who've been together for 25 years. Based around three suites—her most preferred form of composition—the lean and spacious Life Goes On is wonderfully confident and distinct. The opening movement of the title track is sly blues before turning to two parts that explore her trademark melodic mingling of classical music discipline and free jazz adventure. It concludes with "And Then One Day," where Bley holds down the rhythm with a repeated figure, over which Sheppard plays jaunty lines that have more than a whiff of Paul Desmond's cool tone. "Beautiful Telephones," based upon the current chief executive's comment about the Oval Office's exceptional phones, begins with Bley downshifting emotionally and exploring a more somber mood with Swallow plucking out his notes and Sheppard's tenor saxophone providing an equally unsettling counterpoint. In this work's final movement, the tempos pick up and her characteristic humor comes to the fore as she wryly quotes "The Battle Hymn of the Republic," "The Star-Spangled Banner," "America the Beautiful," and other patriotic hymns in a modern echo of her '70s composition, "Spangled Banner Minor and Other Patriotic Songs." The final suite, "Copycat" explores the hallowed jazz device of call-and-response as a conversation between three supremely accomplished players, whose clairvoyant togetherness shifts between agreeable and discordant. While it's right to applaud the current rush of praise for the fresh energies that youth are bringing to music these days, the deep wisdom and impeccable craft of a pioneer like Bley deserves to be equally acclaimed. © Robert Baird / Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 21 augustus 2020 | Concord Jazz

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzism
Although this release is Nubya Garcia's first real solo album, the artist is accustomed to being showered with praise, awards, prizes, projects and collaborations. At 29 years old, the Londoner is undoubtedly one of the major players on the new British jazz scene and her colourful, full-bodied saxophone playing has already resonated on numerous recordings such as those of the groups Nérija and Maisha, and on two thirds of We Out Here (2018), the iconic compilation album from Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood label which united the big names on the contemporary scene. It is with some of these musicians that she has recorded Source. Joined by Joe Armon-Jones (keys), Daniel Casimir (bass) and Sam Jones (drums), Garcia was certainly well-equipped to push the boundaries of contemporary jazz and the UK music scene. As is often the case with contemporary UK musicians, Afro-Caribbean and urban sounds come to influence the rhythms as well as the melodies. Such a fusion is often present in UK jazz albums which also have their own unique flavours. The influence of Herbie Hancock (from the Headhunters period/early Columbia Records) is never far away (Inner Game, The Message Continues). This sensation is amplified by the funky playing of the organ and synth magician, Joe Armon-Jones.But Nubya Garcia is hungry for other sounds and landscapes. On the title track Source, the dub influence is clear. On Together is a Beautiful Place To Be, she deploys a delicate soul and R&B sensuality. Stand With Each Other slaloms between spellbinding nyabinghi rhythms while the aptly named La cumbia me està llamando leaves no doubt as to its influences… All of these sequences paint the picture of a woman well anchored in her time, a musician who is in harmony with her roots and history and puts the notion of collectiveness at the forefront of her artistry. Garcia's notable invitees include Richie Sievwright, Cassie Kinoshi and Sheila Maurice-Grey from the group Kokoroko, the Colombians of La Perla (La cambia me està llamando) as well as Chicago singer Akenya Seymour (Boundless Beings). With this Qobuzissime winning album, Nubya Garcia succeeds in going that little bit further and breaking down the walls that try to hold jazz back. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 6 december 2019 | Craft Recordings

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In just three sessions between November 1955 and October 1956, Miles Davis and his first quintet recorded enough material for the release of five albums under the label Prestige. With the great Rudy Van Gelder in his studio in Hackensack, New Jersey, this creative marathon produced some of the most iconic albums in the trumpeter’s discography, such as Miles: The New Miles Davis Quintet (1956), Cookin’ (1957), Relaxin’ (1958), Workin (1959) and Steamin’ (1961). Joining him are pianist Red Garland, double bassist Paul Chambers, drummer Philly Joe Jonas and saxophonist John Coltrane (before he became famous as a musical God). Throughout these 32 tracks which are chronologically sequenced and remastered in Hi-Res 24-Bit, the quintet essentially writes the birth certificate for hard bop, defining the genre. Although it often seems to be Miles David’s second quintet (1965-1968 with Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter, Tony Williams and Wayne Shorter) which has pride of place in the jazz history hall of fame, it shouldn’t overshadow this earlier group from the mid-fifties which was equally as influential. Miles’ pared-down style, the originality of Coltrane and his intricate keys and the great precision of Garland’s playing make for some stunning versions of these compositions, which include both popular music and more unconventional and innovative pieces. A must-listen! © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 14 februari 2020 | Exodus Records

Hi-Res Onderscheidingen 4F de Télérama - Qobuzism
The new British jazz scene seems to be an indefinite source of talent, maintaining its creative flow with this first solo album released by Moses Boyd. Fans of the movement will already know that this eclectic young drummer has played alongside Shabaka Hutchings, Zara McFarlane, Nubya Garcia, Joe Armon-Jones, Theon Cross and Ashley Henry but also that he makes up one half of duo Binker & Moses, the wild project he pursues with saxophonist Binker Golding. The album Dark Matter sees Boyd as more of a producer than a drummer, with a wide narrative detailing who he is and what he represents: a musician dreaming of becoming the next Max Roach or Tony Williams, all while growing up listening to Dizzee Rascal and Wiley as well as more Caribbean style rhythms, reggae and electronic music. The power of Dark Matter comes from the way in which it brings together a huge cast of varied icons to create a single snapshot of today’s London. Rich in sound, the album’s DNA is made up of jazz but takes us on a journey from afrobeat (BTB) to dubstep (2 Far Gone) before a detour via post-rock (What Now?). With the voices of Poppy Ajudha, Obongjayar and Nonku Phiri and double bass from the ex-Jazz Warrior Gary Crosby, Moses Boyd has created an orgy of off-the-wall rhythms. An album even more unclassifiable than those made by his friends of the same UK jazz scene. Invigorating. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 17 juli 2020 | Blue Note Records

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This time capsule, recorded in 1959 in Rudy Van Gelder's Hackensack, NJ, living room and left undisturbed in the Blue Note vaults until now, contains the essential DNA of the first flowering of hard bop in the late '50s. All the genre hallmarks are present: There are intricate chase-scene originals and clever arrangements (the standard "Close Your Eyes") and brash blues-inflected outbursts that light up the solos. And yet, transcending those individual traits, defining not just the notes but the very spirit of the endeavor, is a quality that doesn't get discussed enough in jazz—precision, as in persnickety dotted i's and crossed t's. At times it's downright startling hearing these five musicians nail the details to the wall. They're hardly "just coolin'" here; they're attentive to the small nuances of tunes that might have been written the morning of the session. You can detect the commitment in the pitch-bending doiiiits and the staccato single-note jabs, in the explosion of a long-cresting press roll and the deliberate, nothing-extra stride of a Blakey-trademarked medium-tempo swing. You can hear it in the way trumpeter Lee Morgan and tenor saxophonist Hank Mobley phrase together, adding grace notes that are almost inaudible but key nonetheless. And you can't miss it in the thrillingly open lanes where the solos happen. Blakey was revered for the communication he cultivated between musicians; using a repertoire of hits and jabs, he pulled his collaborators into rich, sometimes boisterous discussions, a mode of interplay that in many ways defines hard bop. There are plenty of examples on this record, but perhaps the most crystalline comes during Morgan's first few choruses on "Jimerick," a blazing uptempo blues. He begins with a short inversion of the theme, first restating it in a lazy way. Then he articulates more aggressively, as though trying to establish consensus on the tempo. Blakey picks that up, and jabs out an even sharper response from the metal rim of the snare drum. That unleashes some mean Morgan double-time bebop; what began as a single-note bugle call becomes an intricate conversation. Each element of that conversation is notable for its clarity, and each new soloist contributes to it in a different way—check the unhurried, wonderfully lucid way Mobley carves up the opening "Hipsippy Blues." The tune is one of three originals Mobley wrote for the date, and if it's familiar that's because it was included on a monumental live recording captured a few months later—At the Jazz Corner of the World, a fiery and complex document that's become part of the "essential listening" jazz canon. Just Coolin', which is apparently the only other recording of this short lived incarnation of the group, might be a step below that in terms of intensity. But only a step. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 14 augustus 2020 | Blue Note Records

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Before we marvel at the high-altitude interplay of the Bill Frisell Trio or the sometimes extreme sonic gyrations of its leader, let's begin at the most basic level—with stark, simple, standalone guitar declarations. Frisell opens several pieces on Valentine this way, in the clear. He'll send a carefully plucked single note out into the air, and then, after it subsides, he'll drop another. Tone is his only lure, and it's all he needs to suggest the framework of a tune like "Levees:" The initial phrase operates like an opening scene in a film, establishing a thick and specific atmosphere. Out of that blossoms a six-minute exploration in which Frisell, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Rudy Royston travel between strict tempo and drifty listlessness, blues repetition and free-jazz high dives, jittery conversation and disquieting silences. From a single note, there are many resonances; Frisell has been doing this kind of quiet alchemy for years, of course. Valentine is among the most rousing works in his extensive discography in part because it's so relentlessly visual. On just about every piece, Frisell and his trio work transfixingly together to conjure dirt-road sojurns and nature vistas out of thin air. They create contemplative spaces the jazz academy never visits. They dance through a blithe, lighthearted reading of Burt Bacharach's "What The World Needs Now" and a disquieting sorrow-filled version of "We Shall Overcome." And on many of Frisell's skeletal originals (the stunning "Keep Your Eyes Open," for example), they transform their three-way improvised abstractions into clear, singable music that has the sturdy narrative arc of classic country music. As these journeys unfold, it becomes clear that right along with the spontaneity there's some deep intention at work. The stylistic juxtapositions and sudden changes in density are hardly random. Neither are the fragile little introductions—somehow they're all Frisell needs to telegraph where he's going. As in so many aspects of life, the tone is set from the top. © Tom Moon/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 6 maart 2020 | Dare2 Records

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In 2014, producer Jean-Philippe Allard had the bright idea of getting Kenny Barron and Dave Holland in the studio together. They were longtime friends but they had never tried out playing together in a duo. The American pianist and English double bassist ended up making the wonderful and well-named The Art of Conversation, published with Impulse!. Six years later, and this art of the conversation continues with a new member: drummer Jonathan Blake, 30 years their junior. The trio unveils an impeccably high-voltage project, dominated by the art of listening as well as a certain sense of good taste. Every month, there are heapfuls of piano/drum/double-bass albums released, but this one stands out by means of its emphasis on improvisation without looking to revolutionise a format which is in no particular rush to be revolutionised. An album absolutely filled with beauty, as on Duke Ellington’s Warm Valley where Barron’s technique is astoundingly precise and refined. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 10 januari 2020 | ACT Music

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When two old friends are reminiscing, talking to each other, laughing or crying together, talking about the past as if it were yesterday, solidifying an already airtight relationship, a listener can sometimes feel awkward, as if they are interfering... yet this is far from the case on Kristallen. The Swedish Nils Landgren/Jan Lundgren duo even goes out of its way to share this intimacy with the listener. This relaxed ‘chamber’ jazz that the trombonist-singer and pianist carve out on this superb duo album does a lot to build bridges between various places and times. Swedish folklore (the traditional Hornlåtar and Värmlandsvisan) features alongside the Great American Songbook (The Nearest of You and Didn’t We) and even The Beatles (I Will and Norwegian Wood). A milestone volume in which Jan Lundgren pays homage to two of his essential pianists with covers of Country by Keith Jarrett and Abdullah Ibrahim’s The Wedding. A Scandinavian hour full of controlled but nonetheless emotional music illuminating with originality a certain tradition of American jazz. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Jazz - Verschenen op 28 februari 2020 | ACT Music

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Jazz fusion en jazz rock - Verschenen op 13 maart 2020 | earMUSIC

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With his new album Across the Universe that has just come out, Al Di Meola reminds us of his passion for The Beatles. Like 2013's All Your Life before it, this record is entirely dedicated to the Fab Four, with covers of hits (Strawberry Fields Forever, Hey Jude, Yesterday) as well as less well-known hidden gems (Julia). The album cover is also a distinct nod to John Lennon's solo 1975 album Rock'n'Roll: a well-rounded homage. In amongst all the various tributes to The Beatles nowadays, this one is extremely well executed, namely because Al Di Meola stays himself from start to finish. Jazz fusion, flamenco, rock... it's all in the mix. His legendary talent beautifully complements the melodic genius of the Lennon/McCartney duo. The instrumental pyrotechnics that drive Al Di Meola fans crazy are bolstered here by tablas, brass, strings and even some accordion. The only (slight) downside is that this opus focuses exclusively on ballads... we would have loved to hear this guitar hero taken on Helter Skelter or Revolution! ©️ Clotilde Maréchal/Qobuz

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Jazz in het magazine