Tiny Reviews: Alexandra Lehmler, Simone Guiducci, Benjamin Koppel, & Fabrice Sotton

Featuring Tiny Reviews of:  Alexandra Lehmler No Blah Blah, Simone Guiducci Gramelot Ensemble That’s All Folks, Benjamin Koppel Quartre Trois Deux Un, and Fabrice Sotton L’envol.

Let’s begin…


Alexandra Lehmler – No Blah Blah

Wow, nice start to my day.  Quintet of sax, piano, bass, drums, and percussion.  Alexandra Lehmler handles the business on sax. Definitely with two feet in the straight-ahead European jazz scene.  Lehmler has got a lively sound on sax, gives each song a palpable vibrancy, plenty of soaring, but not to where it begins sounding like an ECM album or a lite-jazz recording.  Mixes up the tempos; extra person on percussion adds some welcome texture to the rhythm section.  Just beautiful.

Your album personnel:  Alexandra Lehmler (alto & soprano sax, bass clarinet), Daniel Prandl (piano), Matthias Debus (bass), Max Mahlert (drums), and Farouk Gomati (percussion).

Released on the Jazz ‘n Arts label.  Jazz from the Mannhein, Germany scene.

Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist and label.

Available on eMusic.


Simone Guiducci Gramelot Ensemble – That’s All Folks

Simone Guiducci fuses jazz with the music of Italian folklore, and that might be as close as I come to classifying this wonderful music. Featuring Ralph Alessi on trumpet and Guiducci on guitar, other instruments include clarinet, bass clarinet, accordion, double bass, drums, various percussion, and piano. Rhythms with plenty of depth whether they’re sprinting or ambling, trumpet and clarinet intertwine while darting up and down, the sound of the rustic countryside brought into a boisterous jazz club… you get all of that here. Outstanding.

Your album personnnel:  Simone Guiducci (12 string guitar), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Achille Succi (clarinet), Oscar del Barba (accordion), Giulio Corini (double bass), and Andrea Ruggeri (drums & percussion).

Released on the TRJ Records label.  Jazz from Italy.

Available on eMusic.


Benjamin Koppel – Quartre Trois Deux Un

Always exciting to see a new release from the Danish saxophonist and composer. This time with a quartet date with Jacob Anderskov on piano, Thommy Andersson on bass, and Daniel Humair on drums, it’s a set of compositions that features Benjamin Koppel’s unique voice, bringing classical elements to the European jazz sound. The result is a series of introspective tunes that are as likely to clamor as meditate. Koppel is one of the true under-the-radar treasures. To my ears, no one synthesizes the comfort and mystery of dreams quite like him. Definitely Recommended, as is his album Adventures of a Polar Expedition, which was my top choice for 2010 album of the year.

Your album personnel:  Benjamin Koppel (saxophones), Jacob Anderskov (piano), Thommy Andersson (bass), and Daniel Humair (drums).

Released on the Cowbell Music label.  Jazz from Denmark.

Available at eMusic.


Fabrice Sotton – L’envol

Pianist Fabrice Sotton kinda does his own thing. Switches effortlessly between piano and electric keyboard (sometimes within the same tune), moves from a standard jazz composition to a classical one to a world jazz fusion in the span of three songs, and adds whatever electronic effect or field recordings will get him the desired sound for whatever song is right in front of him at that very moment… album cohesion be damned. If you like to wake slowly to the day, his music will fit right in, though some of his compositions do have a caffeinated punch. I like L’envol well enough, glad he recorded it, and recommend buying it; that said, I’d recommend the excellent Terre Inconnue first, followed by L’attente next. If you’re into modern quiet piano recordings, check this guy out.

Your album personnel:  Fabrice Sotton (piano, keyboards, effects).

This album is Self-Produced.  Jazz from the Paris scene.

Here’s a link to his artist site, where you can stream pretty much everything he’s ever done.  You may have to give an email address to stream.

Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist.

Available on eMusic.


That’s it for today’s article, and the first of three 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.