MICHAEL WOLLNY TRIO - WELTENTRAUM
Wollny's new trio recording Weltentraum is a stunning example of contemporary interpretation in the hands of a unique, fluidly virtuosic artist. Wollny, with both elegance and wit, explores the connection between songs that are worlds apart in terms of both centuries and cultures on the upcoming release. But in the pianist's hands, the combination of interpretations of "God is a DJ" by the pop star Pink and the piece 'Lasse!' by Guiliaume de Machaut (the French Medieval composer and poet) gets to feel entirely natural. With the resourcefulness of a world-class contemporary jazz improviser, Wollny finds common value in the songs starkly haunting melodies in spite of arriving from hugely diverse sources.
NILES LANDFREN - ETERNAL BEAUTY
Landgren has once again reverted to the select band of brothers Wollny, Lars Danielsson, and Rasmus Kihlberg with the further addition of guitarist Johan Norberg who Landgren has performed with on and off for decades. "It is my dream team, and one that I hope will play together for a long time," says Landgren of this group. It is also ideal for the approach that Landgren pursued on Eternal Beauty: "I wanted to make a really homogenous record - just us playing the simple and beautiful melodies simply and beautifully." The album title indicates the direction that the songs chosen by Landgren, Wollny, Norberg and producer Siggi Loch took: "The music and lyrics had to fit us, and they had to be songs that are eternal for me, personally." Most of the songs on Eternal Beauty should resonate with many listeners, with tracks ranging from George Harrison's "Isn't It A Pity" to Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" on through to "We Don't Need Another Hero", made popular by Tina Turner. He also includes jazz ballads like "One More Angel" from the jazz bassist John Patitucci, and "Another Kind Of Blue" by the New York-based German guitarist Torsten de Winkel. Michael Wollny wrote the title track together with Eva Svensson, Esbjörn Svensson's widow. Much is left up to this talented team that Landgren trusts without reservation. Landgren explains, "We did have an idea of how we could play each of the songs, but we didn't prescribe much and we arranged them very sparingly, because with these guys the musical concept arises when we meet. When we start to play, the magic begins."
SNARKY PUPPY - WE LIKE IT HERE
A brilliant set of live Snarky Puppy, in all its tightly grooving, though boundlessly creative jazzy soul glory – and it's as great as anything we've heard or seen from them to date! The "Here" of We Like It Here is Utrecht, Netherlands – where they recorded it live (with no overdubs. . .which is incredible, given the deft musicianship) – over 4 days at Kytopia Studios, complete with a studio audience. It's amazing stuff, bringing in even more diverse influences than before, including some kinda proggy funk, which suits the group and the live setting very well. The package includes the set on both CD and DVD, and the titles include "Shofukukan", "What About Me" "Sleeper" "Jambone", "Kite", "Outlier", "Tio Macaco" and "Lingus". ~ Dusty Groove