03 november 2023

Europe Jazz Media Chart – November 2023

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.

Le Jardin des Délices – Leïla Martial & Valentin Ceccaldi (BMC Records)

Matthieu Jouan, Citizenjazz.com (France):

With an incredibly inspired selection of songs based on French poetry and their own compositions, the voice-cello duo have finally, after many years of concerts, given themselves the pleasure of capturing these great moments on record. And, of course, BMC is there. It’s with this kind of music that we can answer the question: is there a kind of French jazz?

Make One Little Room an Everywhere – Tori Freestone and Alcyona Mick ()

Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazz News (UK):

In his review for LJN, Jon Turney writes of this delightful album by the sax/flute and piano duo – plus their guests, vocalists Natacha Atlas and Brigitte Beraha, recorded at Artesuono Studios in Umbria: “On several tracks Freestone and Mick enter that duo zone where close musical collaboration turns into symbiosis. Neither appears to lead or follow: they are simply co-creating the flow.” Read more

Live In Berlin 1971 – Weather Report (Gad Records)

Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum (Poland):

This unique double album is a true sensation. Put out by an independent Polish label, it is the first official release of Weather Report’s legendary concert which took place on September 3, 1971 in Berlin, as part of a workshop series organized by the Nord Deutscher Rundfunk. Its historical value is underscored by the fact that it was the only occasion when WR was joined by a three-horn section that included two British saxophonists: John Surman and Alan Sidmore, and Swedish trombone player Eje Thelin. This experimental session was held only four month after WR’s very first album which put the pioneering group into the limelight.
As is well-known, Weather Report turned out to be the greatest, most important and most influential group of the fusion era, alongside the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever. Something of an extension of Miles Davis’ „Bitches Brew”, it was started in 1970 by the electric pianist Joe Zawinul and saxophonist Wayne Shorter, with a little help from bassist Miroslav Vitouš, who claimed to be a co-founder. This particular lineup also included Alphonse Mouzon on drums and Dom Um Romão on percussion.

Listening to these tapes, we are witnessing the birth of new music beyond category. A dozen fascinating compositions by Zawinul, Shorter and Vitouš filtered through the process of collective improvisation, where “no one solos and everybody solos”. Released on two CDs and two LPs.

3D@Paris – Cécile Broché (discus music)

Jos Demol, Jazz’Halo (Belgium):

3D@Paris interweaves music with the sounds of everyday life in Paris. Let yourself be swept along on a dreamy stroll through the city. The charm of murmuring voices. The fascinating musicality of crumpling paper, the rhythmical beat of the Metro. The musicians respond, enhance, offset. There is a beguiling story being told here.
As a composer, Cécile Broché proposes a completely original and personal approach to the violin. Drawing her inspiration from her encounters and a varied career, she explores the potential and the possibilities so particular to the electric violin; rhythms, melodies, sound images, unsuspected palette… It is also a meeting of music and sounds of everyday life. On stage, the violin underlines them, opposes them, pulses. It is simply a story, the story of life, told with sounds.

Take Your Time – Matīss Čudars Trio (Jersika Records)

Kaspars Zavileiskis, Jazzin.lv (Latvia):

Matīss Čudars is a Latvian guitarist and composer who studied on both sides of the Atlantic, and whose primary passion is jazz and the search for new creative ways in it. The album Take Your Time together with bassist Edvīns Ozols and drummer Ivars Arutyunyan was made slowly, in parallel with many other projects of the musicians involved, and you can hear this combination of slowness with high musical quality in this mixture of jazz, blues and at some point maybe even a touch of country. It is not for nothing that this program received the highest professional music award in Latvia even before the recording last year – the Grand Music Award for a concert performance in Riga’s leading jazz cafe M/Darbnīca. Take Your Time and enjoy guitar twists on a very solid drum and bass foundation as ballerinas on the cover of this vinyl does!

Printemps Fatal – Stephan-Max Wirth Experience (Bos.Rec.)

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

Stephan-Max Wirth and his colleagues use the tradition of mainstream jazz, but at the same time it is thoroughly modern music. The attractive compositions pulsate with rhythm. The music is sublime, yet friendly and communicative. The beautiful tenor and soprano sound and the improvisational inventiveness of the leader are always delightful. The album seduced me from the first notes, it sounds wonderful.

In this forever unfolding moment – Vilhelm Bromander (Thanatosis Production)

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

In this forever unfolding moment documents Swedish double bass player-composer Vilhelm Bromander’s new, 13-piece ensemble featuring some of the best of Stockholm’s improvisers. The album is a three-movement, spiritual-mysterious suite, «full of hope, care and resistance», and suggests updated perspectives to ideas developed back in the 1960s and 1970s by some of Bromander’s seminal heroes: Ornette Coleman, John and Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry and Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra. And the record is full of beautiful and soulful, nourishing music. I heard the band live at the Stockholm Jazz Festival, only a few weeks ago, and it is even better live! Read more (in Norwegian)

Light Wood, Dark Strings – Tonbruket (Smuggler Music)

Patrik Sandberg, Jazz Orkesterjournalen (Sweden):

This time Tonbruket have worked less with effects, synthesizers, collages which may have been one of their hallmarks. It’s a more acoustic and intimate record, but of course they use the studio’s possibilities and works less classically jazz-oriented than before. Still they hold collective improvisation in high regard.

Jazz Semai – Erol Pekcan, Tuna Ötenel, Kudret Öztoprak (EMI)

Viktor Bensusan, Jazz Dergisi (Turkey):

The first and (one of) the best Turkish jazz album in history. Semai is a form in Ottoman music. First issued in 1978, Jazz Semai features Tuna Ötenel on piano and sax, Kudret Öztoprak on bass and Erol Pekcan on drums.

Outros Estado – Rodrigo Brandão (Comets Coming Recordings)

Nuno Catarino, Jazz.pt (Portugal):

After the albums “Outros Barato” and “Outros Espaço” (featuring the mytical Sun Ra Arkestra!), Brazilian spoken word performer Rodrigo Brandão is completing an ambitious trilogy. The new album “Outros Estado” features guest musicians such as Rodrigo Amado, Thiago França, Luís Vicente, José Braima Galissa, Yedo Gibson, Carla Santana and Guilherme Granado. One highlight is “The Real X-Man”, dedicated to Malcom X: the instrumental drive takes the diseur to new heights of intensity. Another highlight is the famous poem “Style” by Charles Bukowski, adapted here by Brandão; in parallel, Amado’s galloping saxophone stands out. And the participation of José Braima Galissa, master of the kora, is unforgettable in “Dreams of Drums”. Brandão’s words – thoughtful and heartfelt, political and activist – are delivered with the right weight, over very interesting instrumental carpets. The result is a very diverse and original record. Read more (in Portuguese)

Bad With Names – corto.alto (New Soil)

Dick Hovenga, Written in Music (Netherlands):

After two excellent EPs released on the cool Worm Discs, there is finally the real debut album from Scotland’s corto.alto. Released on the equally cool New Soil, Bad with Names is a tantalizing, delightfully bouncing between genres, and as infectious as it is impressive debut. Bad with Names dives into tracks flowing from jazz to hip-hop, breakbeat, broken beats, R&B and electronics in a fascinatingly coherent atmosphere. Ambition is what drives the album and what Shortall goes full throttle for. Really every piece receives a rich instrumentation in which groove is just as important. Strings provide the compositions with that extra something that allows them to grow even further. Shortall has simply recorded a wonderful series of songs with a rock-solid group of musicians around him. Delightfully diverse and provided with ambitious arrangements. So much musicality, so much ambition delivers with Bad With Names one of the best jazz albums of this year. Read more (in Dutch)

For Chaching Taphed – sneaky jesus (Shapes of Rhythm)

Krzysztof Komorek, Donos kulturalny (Poland):

Amazing and delightful is the lightness and freedom with which sneaky jesus moves between conventions and styles. The diversity of the musical narrative, the fluidity of the transition from delicacy to frenzy, from melodiousness to heavy and noisy rhythms, is captivating. sneaky jesus goes all the way. And they knows how to do it. Outstanding, breathtakingly fresh music. Read more (in Polish)

Summer Dance – Marius Neset & Norwegian Radio Orchestra (ACT)

Cim Meyer, Jazz Special (Denmark):

Neset’s arrangements might be over-embroidered. Nevertheless, it is even more impressive that the radio orchestra pulls it off – live! Grand and fierce music. But who am I writing about music? It’s like dancing about architecture, as Monk once said.

Voor de volledige lijst en meer links: Europe Jazz Media Chart – November 2023