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February 3 , 2012

Reviews of the Week

Tord Gustavsen´s "The Well" in The Independent
After three close to perfect piano trio albums followed by a slightly more tentative ensemble-recording featuring the musicians of the present quartet (Tore Brunborg on reeds, Mats Eilertson on bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums) The Well synthesises composer Gustavsen's high seriousness and groovy, gospel-tinged vamps.
"Circling" is the track that really cooks, but it's all of a piece: stately lullaby-themes given rhythmic momentum by Vespestad's drum'n'bassy whispers.
Phil Johnson, The Independent on Sunday

To see information about the Tord Gustavsen Quartet on tour please click here

Press reactions on Tim Berne´s "Snakeoil"
Recent opportunities to hear the influential American composer and saxophonist Tim Berne have included free-funk adventures with guitar wildmen such as Marc Ducret and Nels Cline – but Berne's current band, Snakeoil, is a different story. He still balances interlocking, rhythm-rooted melody with an affecting modern lyricism, but this group (with Oscar Noriega on clarinets, Matt Mitchell on keyboards and Ches Smith on drums) downplays electric rawness for more of a chamber ensemble sound. The opening Simple City begins as a beautiful acoustic piano melody that keeps resolving in yearning dissonances, until the drums rise around it, Noriega's bass clarinet drifts across the soundscape, and a subdued melee develops for Berne's long alto-sax notes to gleam through. The punchy postbop themes of Scanners and Not Sure are typical Berne works – exultant, convoluted twisters over edgy, driving percussion. It's a terrific set, and an object lesson in balancing composition, improvisation and the tonal resources of an acoustic band.
John Fordham, The Guardian

That Berne and his group succeed in creating a context where freedom to coexist in such particularly seamless confluence makes Snakeoil a milestone in the saxophonist´s career. (...) Snakeoil represents a reinvented modus operandi that, in collaboration with Eicher, introduces even greater focused specificity and a synchronous new group in what will hopefully be the start of a long and fruitful relationship with ECM Records.
John Kelman, All About Jazz

To see information about Tim Berne on tour please click here

"Trio Libero" in London Jazz
This mix of spontaneity and familiarity infuses everything the trio play with improvisational tension, each player clearly having a firm grasp on the outline of each pieace, but able to plot his own highly distinctive and original path within it. The resultant music incorporates not only Sheppard´s great strengths - a sure ear for an affecting melody, a sculptural approach to his saxophones´ sound, an ability to move seamlessly between freedom and structure - but also Benita´s extraordinary versatility and Rochford´s uncanny ability to choose precisely the right cymbal/skin stroke to push the music along and subtly embellish the band sound. The overall effect will perhaps remind many ECM aficionados of Paul Motian´s various albums for the label, but Trio Libero´s strength comes from the grace and elegance with which three utterly distincitve talents have been able to gel to form a unit that consistently lives up to its name.
Chris Parker, London Jazz

To see information about Andy Sheppard on tour please click here

Dino Saluzzi´s "Navidad de los Andes" in the Italian press
The twenty-year collaboration with German Anja Lechner and the perfect formal symbiosis with his younger brother Felix allow Dino Saluzzi to create melodic plots and harmonic textures of profound sorrow. (…) The sound - light, simple and elusive - guides our minds to magic-realistic fairytales of the Andes, evoking the birds’ chants of mountain forests or to sonorities suggestive of ballrooms. This CD of Dino Saluzzi, Anja Lechner and Felix Saluzzi is a picture of everyday life, in which the sounds of the bandoneon, the cello, the clarinet and the tenor saxophone gently dissolve in an intercultural language between genres: neither jazz nor classical music nor tango; rather a stylistic cross-reference with the personal imprint of the virtuoso bandoneonist.
Francesco Peluso, Fedeltà del Suono

To see information about Dino Saluzzi on tour please click here