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.
Sparkles & Mud – Parquet (Carton Records)
Matthieu Jouan, Citizenjazz.com (France):
Parquet is a group of guys who play music without worrying about what’s going on outside. It’s all straight ahead, nose to the grindstone and full throttle. And it works like a charm. Typically the kind of music that’s intoxicating and danceable, roborative and catchy, but also a little soaring if you’re as “focused” as the musicians. So it’s waxed parquet.
With Seb Brun, Julien Desprez, Nicolas Cueille, Guillaume Magne, Jean-François Riffaud, Clément Édouard, Simon Henocq.
Colour of Sound – Zoe Rahman (Manushi Records)
Tony Dudley-Evans, LondonJazz News (UK):
Colour of Sound features the intricate and vibrant compositions by Zoe Rahman, and a large ensemble built around the core trio of Rahman on piano, Alec Dankworth on double bass and Gene Calderazzo on drums. The front line has an excellent mix of youth and experience with Alex Ridout on trumpet and Rosie Turton on trombone, then Rowland Sutherland on flute, Zoe’s brother Idris Rahman on saxophones and clarinet, and Byron Wallen trumpet. In previous projects Zoe Rahman has been keen to explore her Bengali background, but this album is very much a jazz album. Read more…
Bons Amigos – Dorota Miśkiewicz & Toninho Horta (Warner Music Poland)
Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum (Poland):
Bons Amigos is about friendship and love. One of the great voices of Polish jazz meets the iconic Brazilian guitarist and singer in a project of eleven songs from their respective repertoire. Most are by Toninho Horta (some of his best known pieces), with Dorota Miśkiewicz offering a few of her own. Toninho sings in Portuguese, Dorota in Polish and Portuguese, adding fireworks of worldless improvisation. They are aided by a rhythm section that boasts electric bass revelation Michael Pipoquinha (Brazil’s answer to Jaco Pastorius) and percussionist Armando Marçal, with additional parts supplied in a post-production process by the Berlin-based Polish drummer Bodek Janke.
The original recording, which took place in Rio in 2019, was recently completed and released this September on Warner Music Poland, followed by a sold out concert tour of several Polish cities. It is a musical treat of inspired melodic invention, harmonic sophistication, rhythmic complexity, joy and humor. Irresistible.
Portreti – Kristaps Vanadziņš
Kaspars Zavileiskis, Jazzin.lv (Latvia):
Kristaps Vanadziņš is one of the leading Latvian jazz pianists of the new generation. Last year, he received the Latvian Grammy – Zelta Mikrofons (Golden Microphone) – for the best jazz album of the year for his trio LP The Love Garden Has Overgrown. An unusual solo CD is released this autumn – the live album Portreti (Portraits), in which Vanadziņš portrayed the concert visitors of the last year’s gig in Riga. Those were various volunteers who had the courage to go on stage and let Kristaps draw their portrait with the help of the grand piano. The tour for this project is still going on around Latvia and the number of portraits continues to grow, creating an unusual Latvian jazz art gallery.
Reduce – Max Andrzejewski’s Hütte (Fun in the Church)
Jacek Brun, Jazz-fun.de (Germany):
One is already used to the unusual harmonic, rhythmic and tonal solutions of Max Andrzejewski and his band. There is nothing easy to hear here, you have to concentrate and listen to the whole, selective listening to individual pieces makes no sense. Jazz and jazz improvisation are only one of the means, or one of the skillful ways, with which these extraordinary artists create new musical worlds. Read more (in German)…
Bear Proof – Todd Sickafoose (SHC54)
Jan Granlie, Salt-peanuts* (Pan-Scandinavian):
Todd Sickafoose is an American jazz and rock musician, composer and producer from San Francisco. He is best known for playing acoustic bass and keyboards with rock vocalist Ani DiFranco, but has also led his own group, Todd Sickafoose’s Tiny Resistors. On his new release, he collaborates with violinist Jenny Scheinmann, guitarist Adam Levy, pianist Erik Deutsch, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, accordionist Rob Reich and drummer Allison Miller, while he is responsible for the bass playing and the nine compositions. And it’s a tough and varied record that we get to listen to. Sickafosoe writes interesting compositions that challenge the driven “team” of fellow musicians, and the composition of instruments works extremely well throughout the recording. Of course we allow ourselves, as always, to be fascinated by Knuffke’s cornet playing. Here, there is as much tradition as innovation in the game, and Levy is an excellent guitarist who fits perfectly into the context. But I am actually most impressed by the bass and Miller’s fine drums, which draws the music into a fine landscape. And where Scheinmann gets to shine with her violin playing, it sounds brilliant. And Goldberg’s clarinet playing is ongoing and fine, and where he gets to frolic, it swings impeccably. The music is extremely varied, with inspirations from many different musical genres, from swing, via kletzmer and Americana to solid free jazz. And all the way through, the music is fun, interesting and exciting, and throughout, the band performs excellently. Read more (in Norwegian)…
Orkester Omnitonal – Per Texas Johansson (Moserobie Music Production)
Patrik Sandberg, Jazz Orkesterjournalen (Sweden):
Orkester Omnitonal was born from the idea of creating a larger independent ensemble with musicians from varying environments and backgrounds, classical, jazz, impro. The starting point was the compositions that classical composers such as Igor Stravinsky and Bela Bartok wrote as commissions for Benny Goodman and Woody Herman (Ebony Concerto, Contrasts) compositions that hardly contained any improvisation and were very demanding for the big bands. With this as inspiration, Orkester Omnitonal has recorded three new works by Viktor Skokic, Johan Lindström and Per Texas Johansson, Classical and jazz combined in a good third stream spirit.
Chet – David Enhco/Marc Perrenoud (Nome Records)
Viktor Bensusan, Jazz Dergisi (Turkey):
The French trumpeter David Enhco’s and Swiss pianist Marc Perrenoud’s standard (both as adjective and noun) interpretation is as simple and striking as the late Chet’s:
The horn and his life, he blew;
For him, the songs were there to meow,
Finally, in old Amsterdam, he flew…
Sou Anna – Anna Lundqvist Lisboa Cinco (Prophone)
Nuno Catarino, Jazz.pt (Portugal):
Swedish singer-songwriter Anna Lundqvist decided to form a new group: in the quintet Lisboa Cinco we hear her alongside Desidério Lázaro (saxophone), Daniel Bernardes (piano), André Carvalho (double bass), and Joel Silva (drums). On this debut record, the quintet presents well-designed songs with a sophisticated pop flavour and impeccable interpretation. Lundqvist’s voice is very solid and guides the group, with an instrumental tapestry that displays great competence. Read more (in Portuguese)…
An Ever Changing View – Matthew Halsall (Gondwana Records)
Dick Hovenga, Written in Music (Netherlands):
The soulful spiritual jazz that Halsall makes is by now a world all its own. To a benevolent body of work, he now adds an insanely beautiful new album with An Ever Changing View. Halsall, with his constantly very beautiful melodic trumpet lines, sets the beacons on which he allows the other musicians to improvise. Halsall is not so much a virtuoso soloist as he is a perfect creator of atmosphere, exactly what his compositions need to keep them captivating. A true bandleader, then, who understands exactly what is needed where and trusts the musicians around him optimally. Read more (in Dutch)…
Family – Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra (We Jazz Records)
Krzysztof Komorek, Donos kulturalny (Poland):
Gard Nilssen has managed to create an orchestra that, in this competitive environment, is at the very top, if not on the top step of the podium. The friendly and even – as the title suggests – familial understanding within the orchestra paid off with sensational music. I will repeat here one of the compliments that came to my mind after hearing the group live: they are simply cosmically superb. Read more (in Polish)…
Second – Siema Ziemia (Byrd Out)
Mike Flynn, Jazzwise (UK):
Electronic influenced jazz definitely having a moment with so many artists exploring effects and non-jazz instruments in an improvisational context – however, few have integrated these two worlds so completely as Siema Ziemia. While their sound may not be revolutionary, their deep love and understanding of electronic textures and beats, all realised live with no backing tracks, is authentic – and it’s thanks to Kacper Krupa’s roaring sax solos that this band and album achieve lift off. The fact this forward-looking album should also be coming out on vinyl on a small label based in the west of England is also noteworthy…. All I can say is, go and listen! Read more…
Voor de volledige lijst en meer links: Europe Jazz Media Chart – October 2023