23.06.2023 | Reviews of the week

Reviews of the week

A German reviewer on the upcoming recording of C.P.E. Bach’s Württemberg Sonatas by Keith Jarrett


Er spielt jedes Forte, jedes Piano, jede Verzierung, die der 30-jährige Bach drucken ließ, jede Tempoänderung – aber nie extrem. […] Krasse Akzente sind selten. Natürlich unterscheidet man legato und staccato, aber eher so nebenher. Jarrett kann allerdings sehr trennscharf spielen, wenn er will, technisch ist alles da. Er formt Linien und Klänge weniger, als dass er ihnen nachsinnt, während seine Hände sie freiwerden lassen, er scheint hinter ihnen etwas zu sehen, weniger eine Person als eine Gegend. Es ist eine rare Mischung aus Bewusstheit und Absichtslosigkeit, die man da hört. Um so realer und lebendiger wird alles, um so mehr ist man verblüfft oder sogar entzückt von jähen Verzögerungen, harmonischen Gewagtheiten. […] Und Carl Philipp steht die ganze Zeit im Freien. Nicht als interessante Gestalt irgendwo zwischen Johann Sebastian und Wolfgang Amadeus, nicht an irgendeinem historischen Platz, sondern mit Blick auf eine eigene Welt, so weit, dass sie sich mit unserer berührt und das Licht verändert – zum Helleren, in diesem Fall.

Volker Hagedorn, Van-Magazin

The new album Glimmer by Nils Økland and Sigbjørn Apeland is welcomed by media in France and the UK


Comme une parenthèse dans l’agitation du monde, un éloge de la lenteur tissé par deux Norvégiens, le violoniste Nils Okland et le claviériste Sigbjorn Apeland. Minimaliste et planant, un voyage beau et envoûtant.

Patrick Labesse, Le Monde


The appropriately titled ‘Glimmer’, from Nils Økland (Hardanger fiddle and violin), and Sigbjørn Apeland (harmonium), is an evocative journey through the traditional landscapes of Norwegian folk music. Much of the album is related, in different ways, to the area of Western Norway where Økland and Apeland grew up, Nord-Rogaland and Sunnhordland. The enchanting music created by the duo echos a feeling of natural beauty, hope and resilience; beautifully crafted from Apeland’s collection of pieces from local singers who have helped to keep the musical traditions alive. Combined with original compositions, the album flows gracefully from beginning to end, bringing to mind a harsh, rugged, yet beautiful land of musical storytelling and lasting friendships. […] Recorded at ABC studio, Etne, Norway, and mixed at Bavaria Studio, Munich, ‘Glimmer’ is produced by Manfred Eicher. The sound is stunning… in a way that suits the instruments being used. It’s like the music comes out of the earth manifesting itself by way of two musicians channelling its power and importance, thereby retelling old and new stories through the captivating music they play.

Mike Gates, UK Vibe

A UK reaction to the new album Our Daily Bread by Joe Lovano’s Trio Tapestry


A most satisfying, largely rubato offering built on group interaction and identity of the highest order. Structurally lucid while also open and freely improvised, this post-Coltrane chamber jazz fashions to meditative and spiritual effect a blend as airy as it is painterly of liquid, spaciously rendered melody, nudging and caressing cross-rhythms and chromatically adroit pianism. […] Like Charles Lloyd, but in his own way, Lovano has gone deeply into the spirit of Coltrane’s music and come out the other side, floating high and wide and digging deep to conjure freshly turned terrain for the engaged listener to explore and relish. In a world where people pay serious money to see a show featuring avatars of ABBA, the literate, mellow and finely honed ‘real time’ intelligence and musicality of ‘Our Daily Bread’ is balm to the soul, extending as it does the vital dialectic of past, present and future which fires the life-force that is jazz. Bravo!

Michael Tucker, Jazz Journal

US, UK, Swiss and German media welcome the new album A Time To Remember by Elina Duni


A varied program of 12 songs ranging from American standards to melancholy songs of remembrance in at least three languages. Duni’s voice is a force of nature, crystalline and intimate, capable of expressing powerful emotions without overpowering volume or histrionics. […] The theme of nostalgia is apparent from the music and arrangements alone, but come to the forefront for me as an English speaker on the title song, a wistful look back at a time when love burned stronger. On this one and the following song ‘Whispers Of Water’ especially, the way Duni’s voice blends with Michel’s horn provides moments of sublimity. Similarly, Luft’s guitar and Thomas’s cymbal washes create a nearly onomatopoeic shimmer on ‘Dawn.’ […] This album is flawless and moving now as spring turns to summer, but I suspect it will gain an added poignancy come autumn and winter. Look for some of these delicious songs on my year end favorites list for 2023.

Gary Whitehouse, Greenman Review


With the same group that made the superb ‘Lost Ships’ album in 2020, Elina Duni has managed not just to consolidate her achievements to date, but continue to evolve her music and that of this quartet into a seamless and timeless blend that stetches far beyond language and genre. […] Transported beyond their original conception and timeline, the music is irrevocably of now and, in the moment, inviting the listening to inhabit the group’s sound world. […] Every nuance and gesture have their place, and the space in which to be felt as much as heard. Duni’s vocals on ‘Dawn’ for example, send shivers down the spine with their beauty and purity. This expansiveness within the quartet also stretches to the repertoire, with Elina taking traditional songs from Albania and Kosovo, from Broadway musicals, and new material penned by the vocalist and guitarist Rob Luft inspired by their time spent in the Sinai Desert. […] Elina Duni and Rob Luft have a strong musical relationship that is now perhaps only now beginning to show just how deep into the human emotions and psyche they can get. Their concept for arranging their music now is now established, and with ‘A Time To Remember’ they are looking to push the boundaries still further. Their song writing partnership has also strengthened into a formidable team that produces songs that reach deep into the soul and mind. Not just highly recommended, but unmissable.

Nick Lea, Jazz Views


Erneut zeigt Elina Duni sich als polyglotte Geschichtenerzählerin mit einer Vorliebe für dunkle, wehmütige Stimmungen – die allerdings durch Rob Lufts serenes Spiel aufgehellt werden. Höhepunkte des Albums sind das albanische Lied ‘Mallëngjimi’ (‘Sehnsucht’, ‘Heimweh’), der Broadway-Klassiker ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’ und Stephen Sondheims wunderbare Ballade ‘Send In The Clowns’.

Manfred Papst, NZZ Magazin


Die Schönheit kennt keine Grenzen bei Elina Duni. Sie lässt sich auch nicht einfangen. Sie ist beweglich und folgt ihrem eigenen Weg und ihren eigenen Gesetzen.  Dunis Musik ist kultiviert, wahrhaftig und erhaben. Und diese pure, leuchtende Stimme ist ohnehin einmalig.  ‘A Time To Remember’ ist eines der faszinierendsten Jazz-Alben des bisherigen Jahres.

Matthias Wegner, Deutschlandfunk Kultur


Es sind träumerische Klangwelten, die sich aus Tradition und Gegenwart bedienen, die Duni und Begleiter heraufbeschwören. Die Reduktion auf das absolut Wesentliche verleiht den Stücken eine Wucht und Dunis Worte das Gewicht, das ihnen zusteht. Der neue Songzyklus ist in sich bemerkenswert konsistent, hat einen musikalischen und inhaltlichen roten Faden. Besonders heraus ragen ‘Whispers Of Water’, der ‘First Song’ (im Original von von Abbey Lincoln und Charlie Haden) sowie das Titelstück. Sie alle zeigen, dass Duni ihre einzigartige Erzählform weiter verfeinert hat.

Sebastian Meißner, Sounds and Books

Sphere by the Bobo Stenson Trio is reviewed in the US and Austria


On ‘Sphere’, the first three songs are quite impressionistic and seem like sparse free improvisations although each is based around a composition. Starting with the fourth selection, ‘Kingdom Of Coldness,’ the melodies become stronger and the trio swings in its own way. While Stenson is the lead voice, bassist Jormin has his solo spots while drummer Falt displays subtle ideas that quietly uplift the music. […] the final two-thirds of the CD is filled with rich melodies that Stenson and his trio build upon in fascinating fashion, making this an ultimately rewarding recording.

Scott Yanow, L.A. Jazz Szene


Die kontemplative Oberfläche seiner Triomusik ist (Anders Jormin am Kontrabaß, Jon Fält am Schlagzeug) ist jedoch nur Ausgangspunkt für Meditationen, die gewissermaßen das Unbewusste in dunklen Farben, Traumdramen und entrückten Instrumentalgesängen erhellen. Jederzeit kann auf ‘Sphere’ harmonische Komplexität ausbrechen, die zeigt, dass diese Spontanmusik mindestens doppelten Boden besitzt und damit auch Tiefe.

Ljubisa Tošic, Der Standard

A UK reaction to the Luminessence-reissue of Naná Vasconcelos’ Saudades


The series begins impressively with two amazing-sounding pressings of albums that show different facets […] ‘Saudades’ by Naná Vasconcelos is a stunning showcase of the Recife-born Brazilian percussion maestro’s remarkable skills, especially his virtuosity with the Berimbau, a single-stringed, bowed wooden instrument. Epic string arrangments by Egberto Gismonti bring a widescreen dimension to Vasconcelos’one-man percussion symphonies.

Charles Waring, Record Collector