In-House Science

Arild Andersen, Paolo Vinaccia, Tommy Smith

EN / DE
Norwegian master bassist Arild Andersen’s trio with big-toned tenorist Tommy Smith and powerhouse drummer Paolo Vinaccia is one of the most viscerally exciting jazz small groups of the present moment. Its energies are arguably best captured in a live context, and here the three musicians deliver a characteristically smoking performance at the Villa Rothstein in Bad Ischl, Austria, recorded in September 2016. Their earlier concert recording Live At Belleville, was issued a decade ago to rave reviews and a shower of awards. “Absolutely and unreservedly marvellous” said the BBC Music Magazine. “How often do just three musicians produce music as vast and panoramic in its scale and vision?” asked Jazzwise, amazed.
Das Trio des norwegischen Meister-Bassisten Arild Andersen mit dem Tenor-Saxophonisten Tommy Smith und dem Schlagzeuger Paolo Vinaccia ist gegenwärtig eines der aufregendsten Ensembles in kleiner Besetzung. Seine Energie wohl am besten live eingefangen – so in der Villa Rothstein in Bad Ischl, Österreich, während einer für sie typisch fesselnden Performance, aufgenommen im September 2016. Ihr früherer Konzertmitschnitt Live At Belleville war ein Jahrzehnt zuvor Gegenstand enthusiastischer Besprechungen und geradezu einer Fülle von Auszeichnungen. „Absolut und uneingeschränkt wundervoll”, schrieb das BBC Music Magazine. Und Jazzwise fragte überwältigt: “Wie oft vermögen nur drei Musiker etwas hervorzubringen, das so unermesslich und umfassend in Ausmaß und Vorstellungskraft ist?”     
Featured Artists Recorded

September 2016, PKS Villa Rothstein, Bad Ischl

Original Release Date

23.03.2018

  • 1Mira
    (Arild Andersen)
    09:50
  • 2Science
    (Arild Andersen)
    11:10
  • 3Venice
    (Arild Andersen)
    08:44
  • 4North Of The Northwind
    (Arild Andersen)
    08:35
  • 5Blussy
    (Arild Andersen)
    08:59
  • 6In-House
    (Arild Andersen)
    08:10
Wir haben es hier mit einem echten Power-Trio zu tun, das zwar auch atmosphärisch bezaubernde Soundgemälde kreieren kann, diese dienen allerdings hauptsächlich als notwendige Ruhe-Inseln zwischen kraftstrotzenden, pulsierenden, hochenergetischen Eruptionen, bei denen sich die exzellenten Techniker durchaus gerne von ihrer muskulösen Seite zeigen. Für Jazztraditionalisten wäre es von der Papierform her vielleicht klar, wer hier soliert und wer begleitet, Andersen, Vinaccia und Smith durchbrechen das gewohnte Rollenspiel aber permanent und improvisieren als völlig gleichberechtigte Partner. Die äußerst ausdrucksstarken, ungemein intensiven und sich oftmals zu überblasenen Eruptionen steigernden Saxophonparts des Schotten gehen natürlich besonders unter die Haut, aber auch die fesselnde Rhythmusarbeit Vinaccias und Andersons vielseitige und farbenreiche Könnerschaft auf dem Kontrabass ziehen einen in den Bann.
Peter Füßl, Kultur
 
An absolute corker of a live album from a trio at the height of their powers.
Pete Pardo, Sea of Tranquility
 
With a remarkable ability to play several idioms, the sharp-witted trio creates music that is honest, vast in dimension, and raw in tone.
Filipe Freitas, Jazz Trail
 
Norwegian double bass master Arild Andersen’s trio with Oslo-based Italian drummer Paolo Vinaccia and Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith has been widely acclaimed as one of the best small groups working in jazz today, and this live recording, captured in Bad Ischl, Austria, demonstrates why. […] Smith slips between plaintive, soulful vulnerability and raw, angular feistiness. Andersen caresses the strings one moment and takes enthusiastically muscular flight the next and all the while the marvellously resourceful Vinaccia provides the delicacy, elasticity, rock solid drive and exacting punctuation as required to give these changing moods fabulous potency.
Rob Adams, The Herald
 
Die norwegische Bass-Legende Arild Andersen (72) hatte schon immer ein Faible für kraftvollen Powerjazz. Sein aktuelles Trio mit Paolo Vinaccia (Drums) und dem Schotten Tommy Smith (Tenorsax) gehört aber zum Besten, was der europäische Jazz heute zu bieten hat.  […]  Vor allem der schottische Saxofonist spart nicht mit seinen Kräften: spielt überschwänglich, ekstatisch, triumphal und berauschend.
Stefan Künzli, Schweiz am Wochenende
 
This is a set of beautifully constructed tunes by Andersen. […] Each player is so much at the top of his game, that each note, each phrase is a lesson in virtuosity.   Andersen’s deep, rich melodious bass is challenged and supported by Smith’s rambunctious hard bop phrasing and the eager clatter of Vinaccia’s drum kit.  If this makes it sound like a full-on experience (which it often is), there are other elements where the mix of electronics or a softer palette on sax and bass, and the intelligently varied drumming create quite different feelings in the listener.  As a trio, each player is able to switch between solo and support roles, almost in the same bar and this stepping forward into the spotlight and back to support their fellow players is so seamless and spontaneous that it can be easy to miss the complexity in the compositions that give the space for this to occur.  Each of the pieces demonstrates an awareness of jazz history but also point out the path that future generations will be taking.
Chris Baber, Jazz Views
 
There’s potent chemistry indeed as, ten years on from their warmly received debut album, Live at Belleville, this powerful Norwegian-Italian-Scots troika return to the live stage on which they truly flourish for their third recording. […] With all compositions by bassist Andersen, mood, tempo and tonal colour shift ceaselessly, from the headlong three-way sparring of ‘Science’ and the racing bass and drums that propel ‘In-House’ as Smith’s sax interjects tersely, to the profoundly sonorous Echoplex backdrop Andersen creates for the majestic soundscapes of ‘North of the North Wind’. There’s an irresistibly no-nonsense funky strut to ‘Blussy’, while a folk-chant melody bookends further rumbustious bopping in ‘Venice’. This is live music-making with real edge and elegance.
Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman
 
When celebrated Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen recorded ‘Live At Belleville’ with Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith and Italian drummer Paolo Vinaccia in late 2007, the powerhouse trio only had been playing together for about two years. Still, it was a watershed moment in an already storied career, helping Andersen to earn the Prix du Musicien Europèen award from France’s Academie du Jazz in 2008. A decade later, Andersen, Smith and Vinaccia have honed their chemistry to an almost telepathic degree. Their second live album, ‘In-House Science’, offers a master-class in individual virtuosity in service to exquisitely fine-tuned interplay. […] Few trios, even after a decade together, can build a musical landscape this dramatic and richly detailed.
Andy Hermann, Downbeat
 
Unbekümmert, aber hoch motiviert stürmt Andersen durch fast alle der sechs Tracks, flankiert vom wie entfesselt aufspielenden schottischen Tenoristen Tommy Smith (einer Art Michael Brecker der Highlands) und angetrieben vom trommelnden italienisch-norwegischen Querdenker und –Schläger Paolo Vinaccia. Bei diesem von Funkenflug begleiteten Energy-Jazz wird aus dem Walking Bass schnell ein ‚Running Bass‘ und der Zuhörer kommt aus der Puste. Erschöpft aber glücklich.
Ssirus W. Pakzad, Jazzthing
 
Schon während des Openers lässt Tommy Smith mit forschem, vollen Ton und energischen Linien erahnen, wohin die Reise zu gehen vermag, aber sowohl er als auch Paolo Vinaccia am Schlagzeug bewahren noch für einen langen Moment den romantischen Duktus, den dieses erste Stück einfordert; der italienische Wahlnorweger etwa, indem er kaum einmal Mal die Snare spielt. Das ändert sich unmittelbar mit Beginn des zweiten Stücks, ‚Science‘, mit dem grandiosen Finale ‚In-House‘ bildet es die titelgebende und musikalische Spange um dieses Konzert. Andersen beginnt hier mit grummelnden Basstönen, das Feuer zu schüren, wechselt später in einen Walkingbass, über den Smith sich anschickt, seine lodernden Riffs erklingen zu lassen. Vinaccia treibt das Trio wahlweise durch geradliniges Spiel an oder umgarnt die Solisten mit seiner feinen Arbeit an den Becken. All dies steigert sich über das Konzert hinweg so sehr, dass Smith seine nervösen Phrasen gegen Ende dem Publikum regelrecht vor die Füße wirft, in abseitigen Skalen, bisweilen in rettungslos überblasenem Ton – und das sprichwörtlich bis zum letzten Atemzug.
Stefan Vinaricky, Nordische Musik
 
Andersen, Vinaccia and Smith frequently explore energy, its place in the universe and how it is redistributed through their stunning level of micro interaction.  Their frequently exciting quests bring to mind Bruce Lee’s famous comments on water, in that it adapts to whatever vessel it is contained in.  The energy is stored, utilized and saved in different ways over the course of the album, and takes shape and molds itself to whatever musical situation in the moment.  Further chapters of this group will be eagerly anticipated. Terrific stuff.
CJ Shearn, Jazz Views
 
Mit seinen Partnern, dem ebenso sensiblen wie explosiven italienischen Drummer Paolo Vinaccia und dem mächtigen schottischen Tenorsaxofonisten Tommy Smith, spielt der ebenso vollbauchige wie filigrane Andersen einen Power-Jazz, der nichts ist als das:  großartige, den Solarplexus wie das Hirn treffende Musik, spontan und durchdacht, fliegend in den Improvisationen und traumhaft sicher immer auf die langjährigen Partner bezogen; frei und ‚interaktiv‘, live as live can be (aufgenommen vom ORF anlässlich eines Konzerts in Bad Ischl). Heavy im Drive und überschäumend innovativ in den singenden Erfindungen aller drei Beteiligten. Eine der mitreißendsten Jazzproduktionen des Jahres.
Peter Rüedi, Weltwoche
EN / DE
Norwegian master bassist Arild Andersen’s trio with big-toned Scottish tenorist Tommy Smith and Italian-born powerhouse drummer Paolo Vinaccia is one of the most viscerally exciting jazz small groups of the present moment. Some of its energies are arguably best captured in a live context, and here the three musicians deliver a characteristically smoking performance, recorded at the PKS Villa Rothstein in Bad Ischl, Austria, September 2016.
 
The trio’s earlier concert recording, Live At Belleville, was issued a decade ago to rave reviews and a shower of awards. “Absolutely and unreservedly marvellous” said the BBC Music Magazine. “How often do just three musicians produce music as vast and panoramic in its scale and vision?” asked Jazzwise rhetorically.
 
In recent interviews, Andersen has reflected on the group’s work method. “In the trio everyone is equal. Tommy might play the melody instrument, but he can also be an accompanist, and Paolo and I are the rhythm section but either of us can also be the lead voice… We are all soloists or rhythm section, the three of us simultaneously. It’s all to do with interplay, and as a trio we have developed quite a chemistry. Tommy is very good at listening to the bass and drums when he plays solo, and he leaves spaces for us to come up front again.” This is evident throughout this programme of Andersen compositions, and not least on the album’s longest track “Science” which flies forth at breakneck tempo and keeps changing its angle of attack. Smith’s iron grip on its swerving rhythms is as profound as that of his partners and Andersen, equally, is as eloquent a soloist as the outstanding saxophonist.
 
“Mira” was the title track of the trio’s studio album of 2014, originally conceived by Arild as a “Sunday morning album”. It opens In-House Science, transformed by the momentum of the night-time live performance. The same goes for “Blussy”, already powerful in the studio version, it is elevated to a new level of intensity in the rivetingly dynamic performance here, capped by overblown saxophone.
 
Andersen’s commitment to burning energy music is of course not a new development but a continuation: in the early 1970s he played urgent streams-of-sound music in sax/bass/drum trios with Sam Rivers and Barry Altschul, with Juhani Aaltonen and Edward Vesala, and with Jan Garbarek and Vesala (see Triptkyon). The trio with Smith and Vinaccia extends this distinguished tradition on its own terms.
 
“North of the North Wind”, thematically connected to an earlier Andersen cycle – refer to the 1997 release Hyperborean – begins with Arild playing his bass together with a sampler to create rich quasi-orchestral sonorities before Smith enters and the piece drifts into free ballad territory, with moving statements from tenor sax and double bass.
 
“In-House”, in its full-throated exultation a sort of partner piece to “Outhouse” on the Live At Belleville set, brings the album to a triumphant close, incorporating along the way solos by each of the trio members.
 
As well as bracketing two song-titles together, album title In-House Science alludes to the venue where this fiery music was documented, the PKS Villa Rothstein, whose history has a connection to scientific inquiry, the “PKS” standing for Pythagoras Kepler System. The PKS Organization is devoted to furthering the study of natural energy as outlined by Viktor Schauberger and other unconventional researchers.
 
The launch of In-House Science is celebrated with concerts in Japan, where the trio is joined by guest pianist Makoto Ozone for performances in Tokyo, Nagoya and Yokohama.
 
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Arild Andersen was born in Oslo in 1945. He has been an ECM artist for almost 50 years, first recording for the label in 1970 on Afric Pepperbird with Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal and Jon Christensen. In the same period he worked with Scandinavian residents Don Cherry and George Russell, and backed a long line of visiting Americans – from Sonny Rollins to Chick Corea. After a New York sojourn in the early 1970s that found him working with Sam Rivers, Paul Bley, Steve Kuhn and Sheila Jordan, he returned to Norway and began leading his own bands. His first ECM leader dates were revisited in the box set Green In Blue: Early Quartets in 2010. Arild Andersen has issued more than 20 albums as a leader or co-leader for ECM, along the way making listeners aware of talents including Jon Balke, Tore Brunborg, Nils Petter Molvaer and Vassilis Tsabropoulos, all of whom first came to international attention as young musicians with Andersen bands. In 2008 he received the Jazz Musician of the Year award from France’s Académie du Jazz.
 
Paolo Vinaccia was born in Italy in 1954, and has been based in Norway since 1979. He has toured and recorded with musicians including Terje Rypdal, Jon Christensen, Bendik Hofseth, Ketil Bjørnstad, Palle Mikkelborg, David Darling, Dhafer Youssef, Mike Mainieri and many others. On ECM he appears on Terje Rypdal’s Crime Scene, Vossabrygg, and Skywards albums, as well as Arild Andersen’s Hyperborean, Electra and Live at Belleville. Releases under his own name include the live box set Very Much Alive (Jazzland, 2010) with Rypdal, Mikkelborg, Wesseltoft and Ståle Storløkken.
 
Saxophonist Tommy Smith, born in Edinburgh in 1967, made his mark on the Scottish jazz scene with his first album Giant Strides, recorded when he was sixteen, in 1983. That same year he won a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston. There, he formed the group Forward Motion, and also joined Gary Burton’s band, with which he appeared on the ECM album Whiz Kids in 1986. He has since released more than twenty albums under his own name for numerous labels, including his own Spartacus imprint. Smith has worked in small groups and big bands, recording and touring with Joe Lovano, David Liebman, Benny Golson, Gary Burton, Chick Corea, Tommy Flanagan, John Scofield, Miroslav Vitouš, Jack DeJohnette and many more. He has composed for and performed with classical orchestras and ensembles including the Orchestra of St. John's Square, the Scottish Ensemble, the Edinburgh Youth Orchestra and the Paragon Ensemble. Smith founded the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra in 1995, and remains its director. The orchestra is heard on the ECM album Celebration, with Arild Andersen as principal soloist.
This is the third volume of the Danish String Quartet’s ongoing Prism series, which shows how the radiance of Bach’s fugues is refracted through Beethoven’s quartets to illuminate the work of later composers.  “Beethoven had taken a fundamentally linear development from Bach,” the Danes note, “and exploded everything into myriads of different colours, directions and opportunities – much in the same way as a prism splits a beam of light. We hope the listener will join us in the wonder of these beams of music that travel all the way from Bach through Beethoven as far as to our own times.“ Here the quartet follows the beam from Johann Sebastian Bach’s Fugue in c-sharp minor through Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet no.14, op. 131 to Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No.1.
  
Completed in May 1826, the C-sharp minor quartet op. 131 is – chronologically -  the penultimate of Beethoven´s 16 string quartets. Pushing the boundaries of formal convention, the piece evolves into seven sections without pause. With its introspective opening, shifting chromaticism and contrapuntal intensity, Beethoven seems to go as far as possible in terms of experimentation. The composer himself considered it his favorite achievement in this realm.
 
Bartók’s First String Quartet, completed in 1909, when the composer was just 27,   and still in the process of discovering his own artistic voice, paid direct homage to Beethoven’s String Quartet no. 14.  The first movement begins in the same spirit as Beethoven’s quartet, and as Bartók biographer David Cooper has suggested, “one might argue that there is an even more direct correspondence between Bartók’s overlapping entries  and his pairing of instruments and the approach taken by Beethoven in the fourth movement of op. 131.”
 
The DSQ’s Prism series was initiated in 2018 with the first volume incorporating Bach’s Fugue in E-flat major from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 12 and Shostakovich’s Quartet No. 15. “The whole approach invites active, committed listening,” wrote Fiona Maddocks in The Observer. Prism I also received a Grammy nomination.Prism II features Bach’s Bb minor Fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier, Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 130/ Op. 133, and Alfred Schnittke’s Quartet No. 3. “A revelatory connected soundscape in which Beethoven’s introspection feels more unsettling than usual.” – BBC Music Magazine.
 
The quartet’s dedication to Beethoven was further emphasized in a series of six concerts in New York’s Alice Tully Hall last February, in which they played all sixteen string quartets. The New York Times hailed the performances as among the Best Classical Music of 2020: “This series offered artists from a new generation in fresh, insightful and exciting accounts of seminal pieces that drew capacity audiences and showed why this music matters so much.”  
 
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The Danish String Quartet has the unusual distinction of being a group of young musicians with an extensive – almost lifelong   - history of musical collaboration. Its three Danish-born members, Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen, Frederik Øland and Asbjørn Nørgaard first played chamber music together in a music summer camp before they were even teenagers, and then continued to do so throughout their school years. “All of a sudden, at the ages of 15 and 16, we were a serious string quartet. It all happened so fast that none of us seemed to notice the transition. We were enrolled at The Royal Academy of Music and our life as music students had begun. None of us have any memory of our lives without the string quartet.”
 
In 2006 they made their first recordings as the Young Danish String Quartet, immediately attracting the attention of publications from Gramophone to the New York Times. The group has since gone from strength to strength, with repertoire embracing core classical and contemporary music, as well as folk music, which they also play with verve and commitment – as their album Last Leaf (released in 2017) confirms.
The Danish String Quartet made its first ECM recording in 2015, playing Thomas Adès’s Arcadiana, Per Nørgård’s Quartetto Breve, and Hans Abrahamsen’s 10 Preludes.
 
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Prism III was recorded at the Reitstadl/Neumarkt in November 2017, and produced by Manfred Eicher.
 
CD booklet includes liner notes by Paul Griffiths, and a performers’ note by the Danish String Quartet.
YEAR DATE VENUE LOCATION
2024 July 30 Olavfest- Nidaros Church Trondheim, Norway
2024 August 11 Oslo Opera House Oslo, Norway
2024 August 31 Jazzfestival Tynset, Norway
2024 September 02 Arktisk Kultursenter Hammerfest, Norway
2024 September 03 Jernvaren Hemnes, Norway
2024 September 04 Adlib jazzklubb Bodo, Norway
2024 September 05 Mørkholla Narvik, Norway
2024 September 06 Sortland Jazzfestival Sortland, Norway
2024 September 07 Ungdomshuset Senja, Norway
2024 September 08 Dokkhuset Trondheim, Norway