Tiny Reviews: Living Room In London, Exil, Lewis Jordan, & Erland Dahlen

Featuring Tiny Reviews of:   Living Room in London Living Room in London, Exil Place Victor Hugo, Lewis Jordan Local Time, and Erland Dahlen Rolling Bomber.

Let’s begin…


Living Room in London – Living Room in London

Wow! Too cool! Manu Delago fuses his hang drum music with a string trio of musicians from the Solstice Quartet and the London Symphony Orchestra.  Living Room In London consist of hang, bass clarinet, sax, violin, viola, guitar, cello are all ingredients in this jazz-classical Ensemble of Awesome.  So pretty.  Fans of Julia Kent, Kronos Quartet, and Portico Quartet should all be checking this out.  I’ve been listening to this album regularly for the better part of a month, and still adore it.

Your album personnel:  Manu Delago (hang), Ellie Fagg (violin), Gregor Riddell (cello), Tom Norris (violin, viola, guitar), and Christoph Pepe Auer (bass clarinet, sax).

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find an album track to stream, and the couple of live performance videos were really poor quality.  That’s a shame.

Released on the Session Work Records label. Jazz from the UK.

Available at eMusic.


Exil – Place Victor Hugo

Okay, this is pretty nice.  Unfortunately, I’m not gonna have much to provide other than guesswork; not much to find on these guys online.  But it sounds like a trio of trumpet, piano, and bass. Based on their sound, I’m guessing Swedish, maybe Danish… a guess derived from their ECM-like recording.  Fans of Mathias Eick should definitely take note.  This is introspective, peaceful, moments of rising emotions followed quickly by moments of despair and sorrow.  It’s quite pretty, but I’ve been told many times that my idea of what comprises “pretty music” is what others find depressing and bleak. I wonder if Bonnie Prince Billy would like this kind of jazz.

NOTE: Still a month later, could not confirm personnel or label.  I did find one myspace page with a band of that name, but no mention of the current album, and with instruments that don’t fit into what I heard in the samples.  Label appears to be something called Musicbase, but no luck with a website on that either.  A frustrating experience.

Available at eMusic.


Lewis Jordan – Local Time

Avant-garde musician Lewis Jordan joins his alto sax with the Grencso Open Collective of trumpet, trombone, duduk, bass clarinet, tenor sax, drums, and a little bit of poetry for a very cool set of dissonant jazz that brimming with blues and steeped in the roots of jazz.  Heartily layered jazz loudly announced and punctuated with odd meters and discordant melodies keeps both heart and mind occupied throughout.  Like a person burdened with personal knowledge of all the heartbreak in the world finding a way to give voice to the most hopeful sound.  Outstanding stuff.  Harris Eisenstadt fans should be giving this a listen.

Your album personnel:  Lewis Jordan (alto saxophone), Hans Van Vliet (rap vocals, trumpet, trombone), Grencsó István (duduk, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone), and Szilveszter Miklós (drums).

Released on BMC Records.

Available on eMusic.


Erland Dahlen – Rolling Bomber

Debut release from Nils Petter Molvaer’s drummer, though Erland Dahlen’s name is associated with a who’s-who of the Norwegian jazz set. It’s a solo album. Dahlen uses a variety of percussive instruments: his special drum set (which the album is named after), as well as a series of items that he picked up at his local electronics and hardware stores. More accurate to file this album under Experimental than it is Jazz, but whatever; it’s all kinds of interesting, and the vision deserves some respect no matter which category this album gets filed under.

Here’s what Dahlen performs with on the album:  Slingerland Rollingbomber drums from the mid-40s, musical saw, timpani, gongs, bow on cakeform with springs, tank drums, cuica, maracas, kalimba, temple blocks, steeldrum, logdrum, bells, electronics, megaphone and sticks/mallets on string instruments (monkey drummer with battery).

Released on the Hubro Music label.  Jazz from the Oslo scene.

Available on eMusic.


That’s it for today’s article, and the second of two parts of the Tiny Reviews from this batch of new arrivals.

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.
© 2012  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.