02 mei 2024

Europe Jazz Media Chart – Mei 2024

Geschreven door: WiM Redactie

Label: Impulse

Ook deze maand publiceren wij weer de Europe Jazz Media Chart, een lijst van de belangrijkste jazzalbums van dit moment volgens toonaangevende Europese journalisten binnen de jazz. Journalisten die voor Europese magazines, zowel print als online, hun artikelen en recensies schrijven.

Hypnos & Morphée – Dandy Dandie (Yolk Records)

Cim Meyer, Jazz Special (Denmark):

Cultivating finesse and originality, Dandy Dandie focuses on language, sound and poetry, and explores the more magnetic side of Alban Darche’s music. Chloé Cailleton (voc) illuminates poets Baudelaire and Roethke, Nathalie Darche (p) lifts the soundscapes to another level, Geoffroy Tamisier (tp) and Alban Darche (ts) breathe as one in a resplendent and unique song. Dandy Dandie shines, blazes, and touches the heart. (Liner notes are to the point.)

Better – Tomasz Dąbrowski & The Individual Beings (April Records)

Krzysztof Komorek, Donos kulturalny (Poland):

It was very good, but now it is indeed ‘Better’. The strengths of The Individual Beings’ first release have definitely been enhanced, developed. And one can only hope that this artistic journey will continue. An excellent album should be considered an extremely significant event. Read more (in Polish)

Sunland – Olivier Le Goas (Double Moon)

Jacek Brun, Jazz-fun.de (Germany):

The power of this album lies not only in the great compositions of the bandleader and his unconventional band leadership, but also in the interplay of all the musicians. Kristjan Randalu’s wonderful improvisations, embedded in the rhythmic swirls of the composer, create a constant arc of tension. Read more (in German)

Chromosome – Mario Costa (Clean Feed)

Bega Villalobos, In & Out JAZZ (Spain):

Mario Costa returns with Chromosome (Clean Feed, 2023); a refreshing, innovative, exuberant and avant-garde work in equal parts, full of moments of pure brilliance and that captures the sweet creative moment of one of the most interesting artists of modern jazz. Read more (in Spanish)

Warming/Melting – Ziemia feat. Irek Wojtczak (Audio Cave)

Mery Zimny, Meloport (Ukraine):

This music was recorded live during the concert at Teatr Boto in Sopot. That’s why is spontaneous, you can feel emotions and liberty in it, a certain intensity that accompanies stage performances. At the same time, it sounds like a coherent, well-thought-out concept and certainly a common vision and moving in one direction. ZIEMIA (eng. Earth) is a band composed of (still) young but well known Polish musicians (Oskar Tomala – guitar, Mateusz Żydek – trumpet, Alan Kapołka – drums, Jakub Wosik – double bass) with special guest Irek Wojtczak – soprano saxophone, bass clarinet. The younger musicians invited a master and mentor to explore the space of improvised and open music, free from limitations and expectations. They wrote a few themes, but mostly they took the risk of creating with an amazing artist – Wojtczak – and showed that going with the flow, but full of listening to each other and reacting to their colleagues’ playing, is their natural environment. This music is a real adventure. Vibrant, strong, but at times muted, engaging, full of details. And what is important, this music doesn’t sound like it would be played by jazz musicians. Of course, each of them graduated from university with a jazz degree but some of them are definitely more related to the freely improvised scene and contemporary music hence their thinking about music is slightly different. “Warming / Melting” is their second album, after “Ziemia dniem”, both worth recommending.

A Jazz Story – Cuareim Quartet (Art Melodies)

Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazz News (UK):

A truly remarkable album of insanely high quality string quartet playing. The way the four players are able to find balance, happiness empathetic note-bending so easily is completely addictive, their sense of adventure and fun irresistible. Can a pizzicato viola and cello combine to imitate one rhythm guitar? Yes, and wow. France-Musique’s flagship “Open Jazz” programme made the album their featured disc of the day back in February when the album was released. “A Jazz Story” is not only pure joy, it is also a very fine piece of work. Read more

Lonely Dog – Carlos Barretto (Self-released)

Jos Demol, Jazz’Halo (Belgium):

More than twenty years after “Solo Pictórico”, released in 2002 by CBTM, double bassist Carlos Barretto is releasing a new solo album, entitled “Lonely Dog”, with the support of GDA and Antena 2. It will not be distributed in shops, so those interested should contact the musician via a personal message on his social networks.

Memory In Motion – The Jazz Defenders (Haggis Records)

Kaspars Zavileiskis, Jazzin.lv (Latvia):

The perfect soundtrack for a spring mood! Bristol quintet The Jazz Defenders know how to protect our rights to feel good at all times, as long as we are ready to let ourselves be conjured by the funky groove and catchy horn lines of keyboardist George Cooper and the rest of his colleagues. The group maintains this line in its third album already, emphasizing timeless acoustic jazz. The Jazz Defenders act as a time machine, allowing you to move deftly between the swinging fifties, the funky seventies and the finely produced present days. UK rapper Doc Brown also joins the gentlemen, making the sound cocktail even more unusual.

Maca Conu – Jonas Cambien (Clean Feed)

Matthieu Jouan, Citizenjazz.com (France):

This writing assignment may be the beginning of a new group, it may even be desirable. Sometimes, when things fit together perfectly, it’s better not to change anything. This quartet, assembled by Belgian pianist Jonas Cambien, has all the Scandinavian fervor and incandescent sparkle in it. With the immense Signe Emmeluth on alto and now tenor, the fantastic Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on double bass and Andreas Wildhagen, a sparkling drummer, the music of the pianist and organist is sublimated. It’s an orgy of textures and sounds, a feast of Rabelaisian delights. Signe Emmeluth’s performance, prominently featured on the recording, is pure genius. Jonas Cambien has a real feel for shaping and arranging sounds, a quality that allows him to offer this kind of jewel. And it also proves that the Clean Feed label is still on the ball.

Blåregn – Anna Roemer (Self-released)

Jan Granlie, Salt-peanuts* (Pan-Scandinavian):

Danish guitarist Anna Roemer is well known in Denmark, from the duo Kaleiido with the saxophonist Cecilie Strange. But here she stands out all alone with 12 compositions (or improvisations) that follow each other well, in that they fit together well and naturally in terms of theme and mood. How much is composed and how much is improvised is difficult to say. For Roemer is an improvising artist, who uses all her sources of inspiration to bring beautiful music out to the people. Here you get elements of Americana in the direction of Ry Cooder, with a touch of Angelo Badalamenti’s music for Twin Peaks, where we only miss Julee Cruise’s vocals, melodic new jazz and some ambient music, preferably in the same song. This combination means that this has become a lovely solo release, where young Roemer has really found peace in Millfactory Studios together with sound engineer Rasmus Juncker. She takes us on a journey into her love relationship with her father who left our world a few years ago, which never becomes too private, but which becomes universally human and occasionally unspeakably beautiful. And not once during the album does this become uninteresting. She constantly has new stories to tell, and she does it with deep respect and love, both for her father and for her idols in guitar music. Read more (in Norwegian)

Tell Us – Goran Kajfeš Tropiques (We Jazz Records)

Patrik Sandberg, Jazz Orkesterjournalen (Sweden):

The Swedish quartet Tropiques quartet consists of Goran Kajfeš, Alexander Zethson, Johan Berthling and Johan Holmegard, each a key member in the Swedish creative music scene, with experience from groups such as Fire!, Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra, Oddjob, Goran Kajfeš’s own Suptropic Arkestra. Their music on the We Jazz-release Tell Us is groove based and connected to the tradition of “minimalism” has at times been called “hypno-jazz”. This time the quartet is expanded with strings (Josefin Runsteen (violin) and Leo Svensson Sander – cello). Release 3 may.

3Elements: Like Water – Jasper Høiby (Edition Records)

Viktor Bensusan, Jazz Dergisi (Turkey):

This is a dynamic contemporary piano trio album. While bassist Jasper Høiby takes the leader seat with compositions reminiscent of relatively Shorter tunes, in reality pianist Chaerin Im leads the music and drummer Jamie Peet shoulders the whole musical load.

Lacuna – Inês Condeço (Self-released)

Nuno Catarino, Jazz.pt (Portugal):

Inês Condeço creates exploratory music that combines electronic, ambient and experimental. Between misty whispers, rhythmic patterns, dripping piano notes, glitch, and many other surprise elements, we swing between hazy dreams and nervous trepidation, in a process of continuous discovery and surprise. Read more (in Portuguese)

Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace – Shabaka (Impuls)

Dick Hovenga, Written in Music (Netherlands):

After having delivered a fine EP with Afrikan Culture almost two years ago, we were of course waiting for the first full-fledged solo album by the British Shabaka Hutchings. With his sax, the instrument on which he has repeatedly made such an impression, equally fixed in the standard, he now surprises in the best possible way with Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace.
Perceive Its Beauty, Acknowledge Its Grace is clearly in line with the Afrikan Culture EP and at the same time a giant step away from the albums he made with his bands in recent years. Precisely because clarinet (which he also actually calls his “first” instrument) and flute are the basis of each composition and the other musicians and instruments are co-creators of atmosphere.
Shabaka has created an album like no other. The basis of all the pieces may be spiritual jazz just like his albums with his bands and we know what they sounded like. He cites not only his (famous) jazz heroes as examples but, on the contrary, Björk’s Vespertine, Antony and the Johnsons The Crying Light and Joanna Newson’s Ys as influences for the new pieces he wrote.
The atmosphere of the pieces on the record is very special and genre-transcending, stronger, genre-changing. Jazz as we like to hear it: challenging, constantly surprising and extremely intriguing. Precisely because the often extroverted nature of his playing was so evident in his “previous musical” life and this shows a completely different and “more subdued” side of Shabaka. Read more (in Dutch)

Voor de volledige lijst en meer links: Europe Jazz Media Chart – Mei 2024