Dienstag, 5. Januar 2016

Mos Eisley Music's 2015 in Jazz

Pixel - Golden Years

"Golden Years" is the third album release by Pixel from Norway which appeared on Cuneiform Records (like so many other great albums these days). The quartet consists of double bassist and main vocalist Ellen Andrea Wang, drummer Jon Audun Baar, trumpeter Jonas Kilmork Vemøy, and Harald Lassen on saxophone. Just take the opener "Rainforest" which creates a perfect setting for the following tracks; a steady and grooving rhythm accompanied by soothing brass sounds playing beautiful harmonies. It is the composition of the tracks, how the pieces fit together, that make them special, like the following track "People Pleaser" whose vocal chorus could've easily ended up in any cheesy pop song - but the strong and lively jazz foundation transforms this element into something entirely different. Every sound on "Golden Years" sits perfectly in its place but also leaves room for some improvisational passages...more

Chris Lightcap's Bigmouth - Epicenter

Though the Bigmouth quintet consists of highly productive and busy musicians it is always a special occasion when bassist Chris Lightcap calls for a new project. The new album "Epicenter" is the group's first release since "Deluxe" in 2010 and features saxophonists Tony Malaby and Chris Cheek, keyboardist Craig Taborn and Gerald Cleaver on drums. There is a lot to discover on this album and its lively compositions. The opener "Nine South" is already a track that bursts with energy and keyboard passages that might remind the listener of classic progressive rock tunes. The nice and slow vibes on "Arthur Avenue" are something else this group is capable of playing just like the dynamics on the record's title track "Epicenter". Just like the spectacular opening this album ends on a high note in a very intense version of Lou Reed's "All Tomorrow's Parties" with its steady groove and massive interpretation of the main melody...more

The Greg Foat Group - The Dancers At The Edge Of Time

There is a reason why The Greg Foat Group marks some of the few contemporary recordings in the Jazzman Records roster. The previous album "Girl And Robot With Flowers" was already an incredible piece of retrofuturistic jazz-soundscapes. The new record "The Dancers At The Edge Of Time" shows a slightly different approach which is also due to the extravagant recording setting. The preference for analog equipment is accompanied by the special feature of recording in an ancient church at the Isle of Wight. So it's no wonder that a powerful organ is a part of the sound. The tracks are as haunting as the beautiful cover art suggests. A floating character and intense melodies transform every composition into a unique piece of art. But you will also find highly dynamic and classic jazz tune like "Riff for Raff". So this is might not music from outer space but definitely jazz sounds taken to another sphere....more

Nat Birchall - Invocations

Not many artists carry the spiritual jazz tradition in modern times. Nat Birchall rose up to the challenge and released his latest album "Invocations" a few days ago on the brilliant Jazzman Records. It marks his 6th record and contains five highly intense and authentic jazz tunes. The name "Invocations" speaks to the spiritual and soulful approach of the music which finds its colorful predecessors in Roland Kirk, John Coltrane or Albert Ayler. Despite the dynamics in most of the compositions there is a floating character to the vibes that rises and descents in powerful yet minimalistic arrangements...more

Romain Collin - Press Enter

Last year french-born pianist Romain Collin from New York made a tremendous impact on this blog with his trio "The North" - now he is back with a new solo effort "Press Enter" and his debut on ACT Music. On this album you will find another excellent example of Collin's melodic songwriting and his sense for beautiful harmonies. Besides interpretations of tunes by Justin Vernon and Thelonious Monk "Press Enter" consists of eight original compositions. From dramatic tracks like "Event Horizon", to playful notes in "The Kids", an emotional hymn in "San Luis Obispo" or top class modern jazz piano vibes in "Raw, Scorched and Untethered"  - it is all there. There are cinematic vibes to every song. Collin is truly painting landscapes with his music and you don't want to miss the view...more

More 2015 Jazz Music:
Pericopes +1 - These Human Beings
Jakob Sørensen - Bagland
The Kandinsky Effect - Somnambulist
Drifter - Flow
Emil de Waal - Handmade in Denmark
Beppe Di Benedetto 5tet - Another Point Of View
Le Rex - Wild Man
Nick Sanders Trio - You Are A Creature
Zetzum Zorglub

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