Jazz New Arrivals: Week Ending Dec 13, 2011 (Pt. 1 of 2)

Featuring Tiny Reviews of:  Espen Rud, Charles Lloyd, “Sounds and Silence” Soundtrack, and Andy Miles.


This is Part One (of two) of my weekly Jazz Picks for emusic’s new arrivals section for the week ending December 13, 2011.  December is typically not a great month for new releases in any genre, so you’ll notice that the columns are getting a bit sparse.  You’ll also notice that in today’s article that there are no audio samples to listen to.  Don’t blame me; there was nothing available online.  Quite honestly, it made me want to just delete all the below recs and not include them in the blog, I was that disgusted.  I believe very strongly in having some of the music available for you to hear as you discover it while reading about it on this site.  But, anger aside, I’m running the recs, anyways.

Let’s begin.


Espen Rud – Dobbledans

I hate to refer to this album as a straight-ahead affair, because it consistently diverges from that. Much like a city skyline reflected on a flawless lake looks almost real until waves ripple the image, so does Epsen Rud‘s Dobbeldans mirror a conventional modern jazz album. Melodies that, at first glance, seem pretty straight-forward suddenly shimmer with the impressively light touch of bass clarinet. A tune that proceeds along pleasantly suddenly is transformed by the entrance of Eastern percussion on the tabla. Baritone sax and soprano trade gentle murmurs and cries. So close to conventional and so enjoyably out of reach. Recommended.

Your album personnel:  Frode Nymo (alto & soprano sax), Atle Nymo (tenor sax & bass clarinet), John Pål Inderberg (baritone & soprano sax), Ivar Antonsen (piano), Jari Bakken (guitar), Terje Gewelt (bass), Jai Shankar (tabla), and Espen Rud (drums).

Released on the Curling Legs label.

Available on Emusic.


Various Artists – Music for the Film “Sounds and Silence”

A compilation of excellent ECM songs that were used in the documentary about ECM founder Manfred Eicher. A who’s-who of modern ECM soundscapers like Nik Bartch’s Ronin, Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett, Anouar Brahem, Marilyn Mazur and Dino Saluzi. All of these songs have appeared on previous releases except for two, with Eleni Karaindrou and Jan Garbarek. It’s really a beautiful compilation, and if you don’t have a ton of modern ECM in your library, this is a solid choice to get a listen to a lot of fantastic ECM musicians all on the same album.

Released on the ECM Records label.

Available on Emusic.


Charles Lloyd – Athens Concert

Charles Lloyd’s Athens Concert has received wildly divergent responses from fans. One camp thinks the pairing with vocalist Maria Farantouri is a sublime affair, whereas others hate the presence of anything that interferes with their enjoyment of Lloyd’s sax ensemble. Lloyd’s career is approaching that of living-legend, and his output has increased with age, both in terms of frequency of recording and the quality of those albums. Me, personally, I’m not usually a fan of vocals in my jazz, but I gotta say that it really worked for me here. Would’ve loved to have been there live for their performance. Ensemble includes the excellent Jason Moran on piano. Addition of a lyra as an instrument is pretty cool.

Released on the ECM Records label.

Available on Emusic.


Andy Miles – Then and Now
A very pretty album featuring the clarinet of Andy Miles, and backed by a solid lineup including the excellent Jon Goldsby on bass and Oliver Wenhold on cello. The album can get a bit light at times with the orchestration, and the occasional vocals don’t always do the album justice, but Miles’ delicate touch on clarinet is a joy to listen to, and the ensemble is really tight and makes it very easy to embrace this album, warts and all.  Gotta recommend this one.

Released on the Fibonacci Records label.

Available on Emusic.


That’s the end of Part 1 (of 2) of that week’s jazz recs.  Part 2 will appear in the day after tomorrow’s post, on Monday.

Here’s some language to protect emusic’s rights as the one to hire me originally to scour through the jazz new arrivals and write about the ones I like:

“New Arrivals Jazz Picks“, courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2011  eMusic.com, Inc.

My thanks to emusic for the freelance writing gig, the opportunity to use it in this blog, and the editorial freedom to help spread the word about cool new jazz being recorded today.