March 29, 2008

Terje Rypdal - Double Concerto / Fifth Symphony

The Fifth Symphony is a work of considerable calm, often constructed using modal, polyphonic strands which become progressively more chromatic, and with some unexpected eruptions, recalling at times Kancheli or Vasks. There is a lushness to Rypdal's orchestral palette and harmonic vocabulary, however which suggests a somewhat Gallic orientation (the third movement even recalls Poulenc). The fourth movement, as with the Double Concerto, seems to me to be the heart of the matter, alternating a rhythmic bird-like, chattering polyphony with driving brass and thundering drums and, once more, a Kancheli-like calm with shattering explosions. Rypdal's voice is an individual one and he has much to say; he is, in addition, a superb orchestrator, and the Riga Festival Orchestra, whose clear, sharp sound is caught to perfection, does his music full justice. An extraordinary disc.
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March 22, 2008

Planète Sauvage - Planète Sauvage II (2008)

Few months after their first EP released in November 2007, Planète Sauvage is back with their second album and first LP , more melancholic and darker, more ambitious by its length, by the structure and the complexity of its compositions.Each piece is a story, a journey between mind-blowing atmospheres and lyricism, taking us into a visual universe, a world of cinema as the band claims it in their different tributes to movies directors such as Cronenberg, Wenders and Bertolucci.
Still under space-rock, jazz, ambient, even classical influences, in this album, much more than in the previous one, appears a real originality, generous, touching and stiring the sense of true individuality.
A rare album, highly recommended!

Download (Mp3@vbr): rapidshare
Mirror: sendspace
Website: PlaneteSauvageSound

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Planète Sauvage (ep)

March 18, 2008

Tord Gustavsen - The Ground

The group here features Harald Johnsen on bass and Norwegian chill-out group Supersilent’s remarkable drummer Jarle Vespestad. Again, too, the music has something of the Svensson trio’s knack for simple but haunting, hook-based themes delivered as a close three-way embrace, though at a lower dynamic level and in a more slowly evolving way. Gustavsen’s tunes sound like a mix of romantic-classical rhapsodies and very slow soul ballads given a little jazzy push whenever they risk getting becalmed. … Gustavsen may not play many notes but he does make them all count, and Vespestad’s patient, multi-textured drumming is hypnotic listening.
(John Fordham, The Guardian)

Stereophile, Recording of the month Jazzreview, Editor’s Choice Le Monde de la musique, Choc du mois Jazzman, Choc du mois Fono Forum, Empfehlung des Monats Piano News, CDs des Doppelmonats Stereoplay, Die Audiophile Gramophone Korea, Editor’s Choice Bells Award for International Jazz Album of the Year (Australien)

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March 14, 2008

Ulf Wakenius - Forever You

Now and again an album appears that, in its gentle simplicity and unassuming veracity, makes a strong impact as much by virtue of all the things it is not as by all the things it is. Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius, heard on this session solely on classical guitar, clearly has the knowledge and ability to produce an album that highlights his formidable technique and rich harmonic knowledge. Instead, however, he has chosen to release "Forever You" , an album that is characterized by a quiet grace and unadorned melodism. But it takes an artist with a broad musical vision and stylistic depth to make a recording this pure, this chaste. As such it stands out as an instant classic, an album that in all its subtlety is more emotionally profound and evocative than the plethora of recordings that may be more immediately impressive for their displays of technique, but are nowhere near as compelling.
Wakenius, whose clear understanding of the tradition has made him first call guitarist in recent years for pianist Oscar Peterson and the late bassist Ray Brown, is an artist who, while clearly rooted in that tradition, is no anachronism. His modern lyricism and clear playing style has also been found in collaboration with artists as diverse as saxophonist Michael Brecker, keyboardist/composer Jon Balke, percussionist Trilok Gurtu and guitarist Pat Metheny. Accompanied on this session by Swedish bassist/cellist/pianist Lars Danielsson and Danes Carsten Dahl on piano and Morten Lund on drums and percussion, the mood takes, as its starting point, the ambience of tunes like Metheny's classic “Farmer's Trust” and “Always and Forever,” the latter a piece that Wakenius covers beautifully.
The programme is a blend of originals, standards and lesser-known tunes, starting off with Danielsson's elegant and tranquil title track before moving into the more Argentinean-informed ”Buenos Aires.” “Arirang” is a Korean traditional tune with a naive theme that provides a relaxed backdrop for Dahl's gospel-inflected piano solo, bringing to mind Keith Jarrett in his early days. Wakenius treats “All the Things You Are” as a solo guitar piece, demonstrating that with taste and a modest yet sophisticated conception, a well-heeled standard such as this can be given new life.
And while the music is what one should come for, it is clear that the whole effort is a labour of love for Wakenius, right down to the aesthetic packaging and simple but exquisite booklet. In a time where the future of music distribution through digital downloading is being bantered about, it's encouraging to find artists who still feel that, while the music is ultimately paramount, the beauty of presentation is an important part of the art.
Wakenius' record may not impress those who need overt displays of technique or sharp edges in their music, but for a sense of musicianship at its purist, where the essence of the material is key and the truth of every note is supreme, Forever You is an essential recording and clearly one of the best of 2004.
(All about jazz)
Personnel: Ulf Wakenius: acoustic guitar
Carsten Dahl: acoustic piano
Lars Danielsson: acoustic bass, piano, cello
Morten Lund: drums, percussion.
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March 11, 2008

Robert Fripp "Soundscapes"

Robert Fripp (born 16 May 1946 in Wimborne Minster, Dorset, England) is a guitarist, composer and a record producer, perhaps best known for being the guitarist for, and only constant member of, the progressive rock band King Crimson. His work, spanning five decades, encompasses a variety of musical styles. He is married to Toyah Willcox. Fripp was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" (published August 2003).
In the late 1970's, Robert Fripp worked with a technique termed Frippertronics, in solo performances featuring audio loops created with electric guitar and interconnected tape recorders.
Fripp returned to recording solo in 1994, using an updated version of the Frippertronics technique that employed digital technology instead of tapes to create loops. Fripp released a number of records that he called "Soundscapes," including 1999, Radiophonics, A Blessing of Tears, That Which Passes, November Suite, and The Gates of Paradise. (Pie Jesu consists of material compiled from A Blessing of Tears and The Gates of Paradise.) On the Soundscapes recordings, the inner workings of the music are not as clearly laid bare as they are on Let the Power Fall, perhaps due to the greater possibilities offered by the new technology.
Fripp states on the Disicpline Global Mobile web site that Soundscapes: "has the aim of finding ways in which intelligence and music, definition and discovery, courtesy and reciprocation may enter into the act of music for both musician and audience". Because Fripp has also stated that the intent is for active listening by the audience, it can be argued that Soundscapes may not be considered as a type of ambient music, as it is sometimes described. The performances are improvised; they can be quite loud, lengthy, dramatic, soothing, eerie, and possibly alarming. Because Soundscapes are often held as part of a rock concert, they can prove somewhat taxing on an unprepared audience.
Another common Fripp quote regarding Soundscapes is: "this remains the best way I know of making a lot of noise with one guitar".

At The End Of Time
Churchscapes Live in England and Estonia


The Gates Of Paradise


A Blessing Of Tears


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March 7, 2008

Arve Henriksen

Born in 1968, Arve Henriksen studied at the Trondheim Conservatory from 1987-1991, and has worked as a freelance musician since 1989.
He has worked with many musicians familiar to ECM listeners, including Jon Balke (with whose Magnetic North Orchestra he has played extensively), Anders Jormin, Edward Vesala, Jon Christensen, Marilyn Mazur, Audun Kleive, Nils Petter Molvær, Misha Alperin, Arkady Shilkloper, Arild Andersen, Stian Carstensen, Dhafer Youssef, Hope Sanduval, the Cikada String Quartet, The Source and more. He has played in many different contexts, bands and projects, ranging from working with koto player Satsuki Odamura, to the rock band Motorpsycho via numerous free improvising groups with Ernst Reisiger, Sten Sandell, Peter Friis-Nilsen, Terje Isungset, Marc Ducret ,Karl Seglem et cetera. Today he is working with Supersilent, Christian Wallumrod Ensemble and Trygve Seim Ensemble.
He has composed music (commision) to Bale Jazz, Vossa Jazz, "My own private furry" (dance performance) and to "FRED" (theatre performance). He was «artist in residence» at Moers Jazzfestival 2006 and he has been a part of the European Jazz Launch project 2004-2006.
Arve says: "An interest in sound-making was there from the beginning of my work with the trumpet. I have spent many hours on developing a warm sound, for instance, but not only that. In my opinion, the trumpet has vast potential for tone and sound variations that we still have not heard. At one point, I think it was in 1988, Nils Petter Molvær lent me a cassette of shakuhachi flute playing. Then things changed."
Arve Henriksen began collecting recordings of Japanese music, with koto, biwa, shakuhachi and other instruments: "I let the music 'ring' and develop in my head. I was astonished by the sound of this flute..." The shakuhachi's roots in the tradition of Zen Buddhism fascinated the trumpeter, as did its "meditative and minimalistic expressive quality. "This has made me work with tone and sound making in a new direction.”
But his interest doesn’t stop with this. He has been inspired by all sorts of folk music, also the Norwegian. He is now interested to work with more contemporary and composed music. He has also spent time on electronics and different treatments on the trumpet. And during the last years has also been focusing on his singing.


Arve Henriksen: trumpet, voice, keyboards and electronics
ståle storløkken: keyboards
helge sten: guitars and bow


arve henriksen: trumpet, voice and electronics
jan bang: livesampling and samples
audun kleive: drums and percussion



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March 4, 2008

Harold Budd - The Pavilion of Dreams

The 1978 recording debut from reformed avant-garde composer and eventual ambient forerunner Harold Budd consists of four chamber works (written between 1972 and 1975) that use varying combinations of harp, mallet instruments, piano, saxophone, and female or male vocals. Two years before his fateful first studio collaboration with Brian Eno (who produced this album), Budd was creating hypnotic music in an acoustic mode. All of the works herein--including "Two Rooms," whose latter half is an adaptation of John Coltrane's "After the Rain"--sustain a similarly dreamy vibe. An important credo for Budd was to make music as pretty as possible as an antidote to the noisy avant-garde he had escaped from. One cannot fault him for the lovely sounds he creates here, although fans familiar with his more cinematic works might be caught off-guard. Regardless, the pleasant Pavilion of Dreams provides insight into Budd's past, and it offers the same somniferous effect as a gentle lullaby, making it perfect for late-evening listening.(-Bryan Reesman)
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