• Music

    Samo Salamon & Hasse Poulsen – String Dancers

    Musicians never cease to amaze me.  Despite the horrible conditions which have led to worldwide lockdown, artists like Samo Salamon, a guitarist out of Slovenia, and Hasse Poulsen, originally from Denmark, manage to weave together an acoustic guitar-only album of improvisations that don’t sound like what you normally associate with “improv.”  It’s a mellow album, and though there was a distance between the two musicians, they ping-ponged tracks back and forth to each other, growing and molding each tune until the final product was crafted.  It’s a stunningly relaxing album.  Those words should not go together under normal circumstances, but…

  • Music

    Various Artists – Haute Culture: A Rough Guide To Russian Contemporary Jazz Music

    Dave Summer penned an article on the state of Russian jazz today, and one of the featured releases was a compilation of artists featured on the Rainy Days record label.  This is a great way to explore these innovators, including saxophonists Azat Bayazitov and Andrew Krasilnikov, bassist Makar Novikov, drummer and percussionist Sasha Mashin and pianists Evgeny Ponomarev and Evgeny Sivtsov.  The jazz is hot, never boring, and will be a welcome addition to those of you who are wondering what’s worth exploring in the genre.

  • Music

    Selen Gülün – TRE

    I’ve been looking forward to hearing Selen Gülün’s latest release, and to say I’m not disappointed would be an understatement.  I had spent the day listening to John Cage after lunching with my priest, and then this record came on.  The first track, Ah, Tu Dici!, blended into Cage’s Three Easy Pieces as naturally as could be, though Selen’s track is both better recorded and slightly darker, which makes it that much more favorable to my ears. The second track, Cicli E Punti, lets saxophonist Dario Fariello and cellist Stellan Veloce run wild. I’d expect this sort of improvisation on…

  • Music

    Daniel Casimir – Safe (Part I) (feat. Moses Boyd, Nubya Garcia, Al MacSween & James Copus)

    Bassist Daniel Casimir is a young lion of London’s jazz scene.  This is a one-off composition in preparation for a full album coming out later this year on Jazz re:freshed, and it features some of the best instrumentalists active today.  Observe the names on this track.  Each is leaving a huge mark on music these days, and will be lauded for decades. Quintet Daniel Casimir Moses Boyd Al Macsween Nubya Garcia James Copus Brass Sean Gibbs Tom Dunnet Rosie Turton Andy Davies Woodwind Faye MacCalman Samuel Rapley Gareth Lockrane Strings Julia Dos Reis Miranda Lewis Rebekah Reid Rhiannon Dimond

  • Music

    Rafał Mazur & Satoko Fujii, Guillermo Gregorio, Natsuki Tamura, Artur Majewski, Ramon Lopez – The Great Tone has no Sound

    Though I cannot say I know much about Fundacja Słuchaj’s background, I can say that their releases tend to be excellent, releasing some of the bigger names in improvisational music.  This collection is no different. The personnel on this four-disc set is pretty phenomenal: Rafał Mazur plays bass, Satoko Fujii plays piano, Guillermo Gregorio wields the saxophone, Natsuki Tamura and Artur Majewski perform on trumpet and Ramón López fills out this group on drums and percussion.

  • Music - Music Promo

    [Announcement] Florian Arbenz / Tineke Postma – Free online gig at Porgy & Bess in Vienna

    We have an online gig announcement from a friend of the blog, Swiss percussionist and drummer Florian Arbenz: Hi – I hope you’re well! Whilst most musicians are still not quite back touring, we do keep playing and I’m excited to let you know that I’m broadcasting live (and FREE) from Vienna’s legendary Porgy & Bess Jazz Club this Thursday: 🎞️ https://porgy.at/events/10327/​ I’ll be joined by the brilliant Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma and we’ll be performing much of the repertoire from my recent duo album with Greg Osby. If you’d like to join, we’ll be happy to have you there,…

  • Music

    Chick Corea – Return to Forever

    A legend has passed.  Return To Forever was my gateway drug to 70s jazz fusion, opening the door to discovering the band bearing the same name, Miles Davis at the peak of his powers (at least for my taste), the majesty of Weather Report, and delving back into Chick Corea’s back catalog. Corea died of a rare form of cancer at the age of 79.  May his memory be eternal.

  • Music

    Ah-Q Jazz Arkestra – Letters From Afar

    This release by Ah-Q Jazz Arkestra is a joint Chinese-American project.  The back story is rather interesting.  From the Bandcamp website: In early 2020, we found ourselves separated and stuck at home. Even though four of us were in Beijing, COVID19 control measures prevented us from meeting face to face. And David was much further away (in Israel, then New York and eventually Oklahoma) and unable to return to Beijing. Like much of the world, we resorted to frequent video chats and text messages to stay in touch, but as time went on, we felt we needed a better way…

  • Music

    David Darling – Prayer For Compassion

    Cellist David Darling passed away on January 8, leaving an incredible body of work for ECM Records and other labels.  Any of his ECM albums is a worthy listen, but I choose this one not only for the music, but the hopeful title which stands in stark contrast to the disgusting display of mental illness and evil here in the United States. God rest the soul of David.