The best jazz on Bandcamp: August 2021
By Dave Sumner September 08, 2021
This month’s column covers the world: Trondheim, Tokyo, Panama, Buenos Aires, New York, London, West Africa, Belgium, Berlin, Australia and Chicago are just a few of the names that appear here. below and, unsurprisingly, this vast geographic area achieve results in a wide range of perspectives and sounds.
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Ole Morten Vågan
This phenomenal session by Ole Morten Vågan and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra has a wild intensity, and wields his sense of humor like a blade. Because it is given the freedom to roam, lyricism often radically changes form; but even under painful conditions, the ensemble repeatedly returns to melody. The TJO has a well-deserved reputation for treating eccentricities as a driving force; with a star lineup including such luminaries as Sofia Jernberg, Ola Kvernberg, Kjetil Møster, Gard Nilssen, it’s no wonder.
Leo Genovese, Mariano Otero, Sergio Verdinelli
Sin Tiempo Trio: Ritmos de Agua
Here, the music is bursting with life. Vibrant melodies are carried in dancing tempos, and direct jazz resonates like something entirely new. Pianist Leo Genovese, bassist Mariano Otero and drummer Sergio Verdinelli deliver what is arguably the best piano trio session of 2021.
John Ellis / Adam Levy / Glenn Patscha
Say it calmly
The melodies in this sublime session by woodwind player John Ellis, guitarist Adam Levy and pianist-keyboardist Glenn Patscha sound like tall candles, providing both comfort and warmth while lighting the way ahead. With bassist Chris Morrissey, drummer Dan Rieser and two guest vibraphonists, the musicians create a sense of intimacy that rewards patience. Sometimes the blues are heavy; sometimes it floats above. When the day seems too long and tomorrow promises the same, end each night with this album; it will provide you with the respite you desperately need.
Visions of Light
Ishmael Ensemble is a fascinating example of the post-jazz movement, where the current state is far from the origins of the genre, but the echoes of tradition persist. Modern jazz, beats, psychedelic electro, soul, blues, rock, ambient minimalism and more can be spied on in the sea of woods, strings, percussion and electronics in every song. Also, friendly reminder: you need the collaboration of Ishmael Ensemble with Yazz Ahmed in your life, as soon as possible.
I want to sing my heart in praise of life
Adi Myerson channels the work of multimedia artist Yayoi Kusama, offering a musical interpretation of Kusama’s art in the hope that it can serve as a spiritual refuge for the listener. Some of the music here skips with a straightforward jazz expressionism; other times he has an ethereal feeling that defies categorization. Trumpeter Marquis Hill, flutist Anne Drummond, bass clarinetist Lucas Pino, pianist Sam Towse and drummer Kush Abadey are just a few of the prominent musicians contributing to this intriguing session.
This dynamic recording combines the traditional music of the West African Mandé people with modern jazz. The thick brass harmonies and zigzag melodies of the guitar and keyboards are embraced by the djembe, balafon, sangban, kora, congas and talking drums, resulting in melodies that dance for their lives through wild and effusive rhythms. It sounds like a massive celebration.
One of the key characteristics of the modern jazz scene is its reluctance to hang out in conventional territory. The 9 Horses trio – violinist Sara Caswell, bassist Andrew Ryan, and mandolin player Joe Brent (who also adds synths, glockenspiel, and MiniMoog to this session) – are a good example. They oscillate between jazz, chamber music, folk, pop and electronic music as if they were only different stones stretched on the same musical flow. Omega has a harmonic richness that belies the trio’s talent for treating melodies as doors to new possibilities; one could argue that the tension which arises from this apparent contradiction is the Omegathe greatest strength of. A small army of guest musicians contribute to this fascinating album, including trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis, drummer Jared Schonig and pianist Glenn Zaleski.
Sendero is an immensely appealing combination of thoughtful compositions and lyrical flow. It’s fascinating to follow the progression of the meticulous structures of Axel Filip’s songs from the first note to the last. But what carries the album is the way the melodies, sympathetic grooves and quick harmonic interludes combine to light a clear path. Each piece flirts with catchy tunes, but always at the service of a more complex and exciting vision of what Argentinian jazz can be. The drummer is joined here by pianist Mariano Sarra and double bassist Flavio Romero, as well as guest singers, guitarists and a string quartet. Very recommended for Guillermo Klein fans.
There is remarkable lyricism on display throughout a marte. With the exception of the percussion and effects of guests Aquiles Navarro and Miguel Ortíz, this is, overall, a solo effort by tenor saxophonist Jahaziel Arrocha – the kind of environment made for a musician to perform. walk away. There is a calm in Arrocha’s improvisations, which is a big reason why this music borders on the sublime. Even in those brief moments when Arrocha unleashes a wave of volatility, there remains a spirit of contemplation, as if creating his own personal eye in the center of the storm.
Mankwe Ndosi & Body MemOri
felt / not said
There comes a point in every storm when the rain is falling so fast and so furious that it’s hard to tell if you are near the end or the start of the storm. It is on this ambiguous edge that singer Mankwe Ndosi and the trio of bassist Silvia Bolognesi, cellist Tomeka Reid and drummer-percussionist Davu Seru balance each other throughout. felt / not said. Intensity carries with it the promise of tranquility, while contemplative moments warn of the volatility to come. The tension resulting from this dichotomy is immense.
Bram Weijters’ madmen
Bold melodies and playful tempos are the modus operandi of the latest releases from Bram Weijters and his ensemble Crazy Men. Their inspiration is the fusion scene of the 1970s, and its particular manifestation in Belgian jazz-rock, with particular attention paid to the compositions of Philip Catherine, Placebo and Palle Mikkelborg. The surge and crash of the harmony generate a melodic momentum that moves the song forward, even when the ensemble takes a path that leads them away from the opening stanza.
Peter Knight & Australian Art Orchestra
Crossed & Crossed
There are more than a few transcendent moments on this extraordinary session by Peter Knight and the Australian Art Orchestra. The minimalism of jazz as a source of pure strength is exhibited on the two extended pieces here, and their slow builds lead to dramatic peaks of intensity, like a heart struggling to contain more happiness than it has. was designed to contain it. While some of the avant-garde of jazz minimalism treat music as an opportunity to leap melodic ideas onto the surface of harmonies, the AAO takes an approach closer to John Adams’ “Shaker Loops”, sending out swells of music. rise, as well as gracefully crumble. Side note: Two members of this ensemble, Tilman Robinson and Andrea Keller, are responsible for some of my favorite music from the past decade.
Truth Revolution Records
This collective integrates the work of six producers, 12 arrangers and 44 musicians giving their individual interpretation of 17 classical pieces, all recorded under the constraints of pandemic containment conditions. Even with this intoxicating premise, the result is a wonderful recording that contains modern jazz, old school, Latin jazz and chamber jazz, and shakes up with the kind of tasteful direct sound on which Truth Revolution Records established. their reputation.
Guests Mulatu Astatke, Brandee Younger, and Charles Tolliver add welcome depth to the spiritual jazz sound of the web. At Web Max, the quartet adopts a contemplative tone, opening the door to a more nuanced approach to their typically seductive melodies. It has been a patient and rewarding development for this exciting quartet, starting with their debut in 2017. Oracle, and they have established their place in the modern spiritual jazz movement.
Jean Lapouge’s music has a striking melody that is unlike anything else on stage. The release of the guitarist in 2011 Temporary, with vibraphonist Christian Pabœuf and trombonist Christiane Bopp, radiated a seductive and mysterious beauty. Their 2012 follow-up Children was no less convincing and served up melodic imagery that a listener could immerse themselves in. On his latest, Nicolas Lapouge intervenes on electric bass, and the music here is perfect for standing in front of a frosted window and watching the snow fall, as the warmth of the fireplace gently warms the room.
?? (My invisible tree)
This fascinating series of duets by percussionist Yosuke Watanabe oscillates between “Bill Frisell, guitar and loops” territory and a more traditional approach to jazz-folk forms. The two avenues are rich in images and melodic warmth. Instruments like the violin, gadulka, and kokyū complement the songs here, while the violin, guitar, and pedal effects evoke the Frisell classic, Dead city. Another gem from the intriguing Tokyo label Musilogue.