Titel: Nyheden
Adresse: http://jazzspecial.dk/index.php?id=20



Europe Jazz Media Chart

December 2021


Christof Thurnherr, Jazz’n’More

Kraake: KRAAKE (Eret Music)

One is tempted to view Kraake as a collaboration of a rapper and a jazz musician. But this does not tell the whole story, because the forces which collide on this album can hardly be captured by using mere catchphrases. On one side there is the emotionally dense lyrical phrasing of the Bernese „Verslischmied“ Basil Anliker, aka. Baze, on the other side there is the instrumental backdrop of the versatile keyboarder Mueller, whose work includes dates with Kaspar von Grüningen, Reto Suhner and many more locally well-known jazz musicians. They first caught the audience unawares with their reinterpretation of Baze’s last album Gott, no easy feat since already the original material proved to be a sonically and materially impressive experience. There, Mueller managed to expose unheard nuances in Anliker’s lyrics and this effect is further explored on KRAAKE. Baze’s texts tell about fears, loneliness, drugs, but also about friendship, love, and the possibility to confront the world in a self-determined way – in short about all that at times renders life difficult but always makes it worth living.


Jacek Brun, www.jazz-fun.de

Rebecca Trescher Tentet: PARIS ZYKLUS – THE SPIRIT OF THE STREETS (Enja)

For almost ten years, composer, clarinetist, and bandleader Rebecca Trescher has been leading her own Large Ensemble and has earned an outstanding name for herself in the German jazz scene. She has also been awarded numerous prizes and grants (e.g. Wolfram-von-Eschenbach Prize 2021, Artist in Residence at the Cité internationales des Arts de Paris 2019, Bayerischer Kunstförderpreis 2017, scholarship holder of the Kunststiftung Baden-Württemberg 2014).
The music on this new album is like a path leading through different landscapes, evoking picturesque associations. A very interesting album brilliantly arranged and played, full of interesting phrases and solo parts.


Madli-Liis Parts, Muusika

Karmen Rõivassepp Quartet: Breathe (Jaeger Community)


Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum

Wojciech Karolak: WOJCIECH KAROLAK (Polish Radio Jazz Archives 34)

The newest volume of Polish Radio Jazz Archives is something of a sensation. It is a compilation of never before released studio and concert recordings by the legendary Polish pianist and organ player who departed suddenly several months ago at age 82.
A world class musician, he was known for his predilection for mainstream jazz replete with black American feeling, and traditional values of swing and blues. His career spanned more than six decades. He left a legacy of more than 50 albums but, alas, only  a few recorded under his own name. This newest album brings to light nine tracks – mostly originals, but also a few jazz standards, recorded from 1977 to 2010.
Its most valuable part are the first five pieces recorded by Time Killers, a super trio that also included Tomasz Szukalski (ts) and Czesław Bartkowski (d). The original album, released by the now defunct label Halicon, was hailed as the best recording of Polish jazz in the 1980s. There’s a beautiful rendition of All The Things You Are in a duo with Zbigniew Wegehaupt (b), and Stablemates by an unusual trio that included Tomasz Stanko (tp) and Bartkowski (d). And a few other gems. Karolak, who is featured here playing mainly organ, was a superb musician with great taste, sharp intelligence, and a rare sense of humor.


Mike Flynn, Jazzwise

Ill Considered: LIMINAL SPACE (New Soil)

Ill Considered have pursued an underground course, releasing nine raw improvised albums – including a Christmas LP, NATCH – in three years. With new bassist Liran Donin (Led Bib and his own 1000 Boats project), LIMINAL SPACE is a studio leap forward, with the trio’s wild improv now the basis for added arrangements and musicians. Drummer Emre Ramazanoglu’s production simmers down thickly layered arrangements till star guests such as Theon Cross and Sarathy Korwar become mere ingredients in a multitudinous ferment; yet the sense of space is still sharply defined, like claustrophobic dub.


Anna Filipieva, Jazz.Ru

Rachel Eckroth: THE GARDEN (Rainy Days)

On a smart crossing of not-sweet-at-all contemporary jazz and cunning / clever rock, this bunch of Phoenix, Arizona-based keyboardist / singer-songwriter Rachel Eckroth’s originals makes an enjoyable listening – if you don't expect it to be a part of either mainstream, rock or jazz. Not just the core band of Eckroth on everything with keys on it, Tim Lefevbre (who also produced the album) on everything that makes bass sounds, and Christian Euman (d), is a tight unit with imagination and enough aplomb to make Eckroth’s music, written during the pandemic, amusing enough to stay with it for the duration of the record; the contributions from high-class soloists, such as Nir Felder (g) or Donny McCaslin and Andrew Krasilnikov (s) add enough adventure to help this work to get a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: although Eckroth sings on some tracks, they may have constituted less than 49 per cent of the material required for the album to be considered instrumental. For the Russian jazz community, it is significant that the record is released on Rainy Days Records, the St. Petersburg, Russia-based label – making it the first-ever Russia-released jazz album to be nominated for the Recording Academy award.


Jan Granlie, salt-peanuts.eu

Tom Prehn’s Kvartet: CENTRIFUGA (Centrifuga)

On August 3. and 4. 1964, the Danish pianist Tom Prehn was in the studio in Aarhus with his musical friends Fritz Krogh (ts), Poul Ehlers (b) and Finn Slumstrup (d) to record two free compositions for, if possible, release on disc. But the record did not come out until now, in 2021. Previously CENTRIFUGA has only been available on reel-to-reel tape and has for a long time been a collector’s item for those who have enough time and money for such activities.
And the result of two days in the studio is very exciting. These are either four musicians who were very early in their understanding of free improvised music, or they took the chance that this was the future and went “all in” in the free-flowing improvisations. And what we hear is simply shockingly good. That there should be musicians in Denmark who played this type of jazz already in 1964 is a big surprise, at least for me. This was at a time when the American swing and bop stars began to come to Copenhagen, and what we hear from these four young guys is far ahead of what Dexter Gordon, Ben Webster, Stuff Smith and the others who played at the clubs around at that time.
Prehn’s piano playing can be compared to an early Paul Bley and occasionally with what Cecil Taylor was doing at that time. But I think Taylor was later out with that kind of free improvisation as this quartet performs. But nowadays we have become accustomed to hearing free jazz in a completely different way than we were at the time. Prehn is a creative and exciting pianist, who throws himself into the music without a safety net, and he is well followed by Slumstrup’s great playing on drums, who is listed as the only soloist on the original record cover, and who plays creatively, originally and tough, Poul Ehlers fine and ongoing bass playing are not very different from Jimmy Garrison and Fritz Krogh’s raw tenor saxophone playing, is some of the toughest I can remember hearing, if we disregard the late John Coltrane, Mats Gustafsson, Peter Brötzmann and a couple of others.
The fact that this recording has been re-released gives a relatively new picture of what Danish jazz was in the “old days”. We can easily take it for granted that Danish jazz was shaped by the many American star musicians who came to the country. But there we have made a solid mistake. For Tom Prehn’s quartet was out very early with some of the toughest free jazz we’ve ever heard from musicians from the North.


Christine Stephan, JAZZTHETIK

Kinan Azmeh & Ndr Bigband: FLOW (Dreyer / Gaido)


Viktor Bensusan, jazzdergisi.com

400 ACUTE INFLECTIONS (self-released)

With just vocal and bass, this NYC based duo just plays the bare basics. And to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Bob Marley, it sounds more than enough to catch his unique soul and sound.


Henning Bolte, Written in Music

Cansu Tanrikulu w / Greg Cohen + Tobias Delius: KANTOJ DE FERMITECO  (LowSwing)

Brilliance in the shimmer of dark vaults – magic and bewildering enchantment.


Peter Slavid, LondonJazz News

Chelsea Carmichael: THE RIVER DOESN'T LIKE STRANGERS (Native Rebel)

Chelsea Carmichael has already carved out a powerful presence on the UK scene, touring alongside other new generation artists Theon Cross and Joe Armon-Jones and as a member of Cassie Kinoshi’s SEED Ensemble. This is her debut album produced by Shabaka Hutchings, and available as the first release from his new label. The album has an outstanding band of David Okumu (g), Tom Herbert (b) and Edward Wakili-Hick (d), who all play key roles on the album.
Carmichael has said: “I feel that the way that I play on this record draws inspiration from the lineage of black music making and the Caribbean diasporas“. You can hear that in the music, which is in turns powerful, playful, spiritual and at times beautiful.


Patrik Sandberg, Jazz


A curated portal of new work that is growing out of bassist, singer and composer Esperanza Spalding’s collaborative practice over the past years, exploring how songwriters might meaningfully incorporate therapeutic practices and knowledge into their process and production. The researchers and practitioners that took part in the labs specialize in fields ranging from neuroscience and music therapy to psychology and ethnomusicology!


Cim Meyer, Jazz Special

Dieter Ilg: B-A-C-H (ACT)

I am a sucker for Bach – especially Johan Sebastian (as I am for Thelonious Sphere Monk). As long as you stay true to the compositions nothing can go completely wrong. But how do you put Bach into a modern jazz context? Well, together with Rainer Böhm (p) and Patrice Hérald (d) Ilg manages to take advantage of the spots where Bach’s compositions suggest variations and improvisation. They make melodies hidden in Bach’s mathematical constructions lucid without being inferior to the master’s counterpoint and perfect melodic constructions. There are some moving moments of great beauty from this trio.


Lars Mossefinn, Dag og tid

Mats Eilertsen: HYMN FOR HOPE (Jazzland)


Matthieu Jouan, citizenjazz.com

Linda Fredriksson: JUNIPER (We Jazz)

A wonderful collection of nice melodies and tunes, served by a masterful poly-instrumentalist and some Finnish musicians. Linda Fredriksson is no more just “the baryton player” of Finland, but now a serious composer.


Axel Stinshoff, Jazz thing

Peter Materna: THE KISS (Jazzline)


Luca Vitali, Giornale della Musica

Christian Wallumrød: SPEAKSOME (Hubro)


Yves Tassin, JazzMania

De Beren Gieren: LESS IS ENDLESS (Sdban)

What do instruments matter : that's De Beren Gieren !


Jos Demol, jazzhalo.be

Darrifourcq, Hermia, Ceccaldi: KAIJU EATS CHEESEBURGERS (Hector / Full Rhizome)

“This trio used to be a real experience live. This will undoubtedly continue to be the case with this material. Open the gates wide of the jazz clubs. With these three's devotion, any virus threat is scaled back.” (Georges Tonla Briquet)


Katherine Zyabluk, Meloport (Ukraine)

Mateusz Pałka: BLUR (Echo Production)

Blur is the second album by the Polish pianist and composer Mateusz Palka and his first solo recording, made in the spacious Monochrom Studio far away in the mountains. It’s important to know to create a proper canvas of associations while listening.
The album contains 14 short pieces, like classical etudes or a series of impressionistic paintings, in which Mateusz put the essence of his composing approach, emotions he is dealing with and transforming them into sound. He does it sensuously, with natural noble and truthfulness, called to evoke the sense of vivid nostalgia, making listeners miss places they have never been. From the very beginning music fully captures the space and invites you to a journey through vital stories. They are different — melodious Portrait In Water, Aria or Moje Serce, contemplative Lament For K.P., Yuyuan Garden and Ginkgo Leaf calm you down, both Variations and Blur are life-enhancing sound clusters, then Mystic River along with Etude D’Une Nuit are deeply resonating with heartstrings, encourage listening to them in an eternal circle. There will always be something new to discover – as in real life.
All these short expressions from Blur create the intimate holistic tale, still courageous and confident, as every solo recording is. It fills up with a unique sense of beauty, which can heal and rescue these messy times.


Kaspars Zavileiskis, Delfi (Latvia)

Knudsen / Rudzinski: SPACE BIG BAND (Double Moon)

A joint original music project by Danish bassist Kenneth Dahl Knudsen and Latvian saxophonist Toms Rudzinski recorded at the Blackbird Music Studio in Berlin, with a total of 17 musicians from Latvia, Denmark, Germany, Austria, France, Sweden, Ukraine, Russia, and the USA, plus a local conductor: Malte Schiller.
The two musicians met in Berlin and have split their composing responsibilities in half – five pieces each, but in the album, they are intertwined as a whole. The scope is wide and so is the music flowing for more than 70 minutes. The album dedicated to the study of the structure of the universe offers a fresh and long breath into the world of big band music. It lacks such records, which do not obscure the responsibilities of tradition, but are looking for new ways of expression. However, this is not an avant-garde and can be well understood by non-melomaniac listeners. Both thematically and sound-wise, the album can be seen as a journey through time, space and consciousness.




© 2012 JAZZ Special