Reviews that mention Kjell Nordeson

March 13, 2015

Mats Gustafsson NU Ensemble

Hidros 6 - Knockin’
Not Two MW 915

Yves Charuest and Ellwood Epps

La Passe

Small Scale Music SM 005

Pierre Yves Martel/Phillippe Lauzier

Sainct Laurens Volume 2

E-tron Records ETRC 019

Barry Guy

Five Fizzles for Samuel Beckett

NoBusiness Records NBEP 2

Something In The Air: Unusual Formats for New Music

By Ken Waxman

Everything old is new again doesn’t go quite far enough in describing formats now available for disseminating music. Not only are downloads and streaming becoming preferred options, but CDs are still being pressed at the same time as musicians experiment with DVDs, vinyl variants and even tape cassettes. Happily the significance of the musical messages outweighs the media multiplicity. MORE

April 8, 2014

Artist Feature:

Lisa Mezzacappa
By Ken Waxman

As a teenage electric bass player in metal, punk and ska bands on Staten Island, Lisa Mezzacappa probably never envisioned her eventual musical future. But today, Mezzacappa, 39, concentrating on acoustic bass, is acknowledged as one of improvised music’s movers and shakers in the Bay area, where she has lived since 2001. She has recorded 12 CDs as leader or co-leader, many more as a sideperson, played all over North America and Europe, and as “musical instigator” organizes local concerts. New Yorkers can see her in action this month gigging with non-West Coast players, including two Brooklyn-based musicians who complete her cross-country trio. MORE

October 7, 2013

Erik Carlsson & All Stars

Swedish azz Volume 1 & Volume 2
NotTwo MW 901-1A/ NotTwo MW 901-1B

Various Artists

Just Not Cricket: Three Days of Improvised Music in Berlin

Ni-Vu-Ni-Connu nvnc lp001/004

Thomas Lehn, Michel F. Côté, Éric Normand

Invisible

Tour de Bras DL #1

Malcolm Goldstein/Thomas Lehn

Sources

Tour de Bras DL #2

Something In the Air: Good Music Comes In Many Forms and Formats

By Ken Waxman

Standardization is a thing of the past when it comes to recorded music and listeners who get too far ahead of or behind the curve are likely to miss interesting sounds. Just as the production of movies didn’t cease with the acceptance of television, so the manufacture of LPs continued even as the CD became the format of the moment. As artisans continue to craft fine furniture despite the availability of mass-produced items, so too LPs are being created in limited quantities. This situation appears tailor-made for experimental sounds. Similarly since advanced players are often as impecunious as they are inventive, the ubiquity of the Internet means that some music is only sold through the Web. The option of not having to create a physical product is a boon for non-mainstream performers. MORE

September 21, 2012

Kyle Bruckmann

On Procedural Grounds
New World Records 80725-2

Kyle Bruckmann’s Wrack

Cracked Refraction

Porter Records PRCD 4061

As improvised music’s pre-eminent – well let’s face it probably only – oboe and English horn specialist, Oakland, Calif.-based Kyle Bruckmann has been flexing his organizational muscles as a band leader and composer during the past few years. These recent CDs showcase these talents admirably along, of course, with his distinctive soloing.

Gigging with New music ensembles, the Stockton Symphony and many area regional orchestras plus a smattering of Rock and electronic music bands is how Bruckmann makes his living, but it’s with his own Wrack quintet that he expresses his own ideas. Mostly consisting of Chicago musicians with whom Bruckmann played before relocating to the Bay area in 2003, the band is filled out by one player, violist Jen Clare Paulson, who is mostly involved in notated music ensembles, plus three others – bass clarinetist Jason Stein, bassist Anton Hatwich and percussionist Tim Daisy – who usually work the Improv/Jazz side of the equation, with associates such as saxophonists Ken Vandermark and Dave Rempis. MORE

April 6, 2012

Lisa Mezzacappa & Nightshade

Cosmic Rift
Leo Records CD LR 613

By Ken Waxman

A profound sense of balance characterizes Cosmic Rift by Lisa Mezzacappa’s Nightshade quintet. The Staten Island-raised bassist, who has been a key instigator in the percolating Bay Area scene for the last decade, has produced a CD that’s richly textured and almost visual in its timbre stretching. That’s not surprising, considering Mezzacappa’s interest in musically interpreting paintings and film, often as they’re being created.

“Alvamel's Dream” is the most obvious instance of this, since the piece is the evocative soundtrack for Alfonso Alvarez’s film. Unforced but powerful, Mezzacappa stops and slides her strings beneath the moderato melody elaborated by clarinetist Cory Wright, with layered sequences of intermittent echoes from Kjell Nordeson’s vibraphone, slurred fingering from guitarist John Finkbeiner plus sudden corkscrew flanges from Tim Perkis’ electronics all coming into play. MORE

November 9, 2008

Atomic School Days

Distil
Okka Disk OD 12073

Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark

Goofy June Bug

Wig 15

Without trying to make him sound celestial and selfless, Ken Vandermark is one of those rare musicians who is as comfortable in an ensemble as fronting one. Despite recording so often as leader, the Chicago-based multi-reedist is just as apt to show up on disc as an addition to an existing band or as part of a generically titled ensemble. That was happens on these two CDs.

Over the years, collaborations with Europeans have also proven to be particularly fruitful for the saxophonist and clarinetist’s musical growth. This is confirmed on Goofy June Bug and Distill with each offering a divergent – and equally notable – take on improvised and composed music. MORE

November 9, 2008

Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark

Goofy June Bug
Wig 15

Atomic School Days

Distil

Okka Disk OD 12073

Without trying to make him sound celestial and selfless, Ken Vandermark is one of those rare musicians who is as comfortable in an ensemble as fronting one. Despite recording so often as leader, the Chicago-based multi-reedist is just as apt to show up on disc as an addition to an existing band or as part of a generically titled ensemble. That was happens on these two CDs.

Over the years, collaborations with Europeans have also proven to be particularly fruitful for the saxophonist and clarinetist’s musical growth. This is confirmed on Goofy June Bug and Distill with each offering a divergent – and equally notable – take on improvised and composed music. MORE

October 3, 2007

Exploding Customer

At Your Service
Ayler aylCD-063

Expertly demolishing the shibboleth that Scandinavian Jazz is spongy or glacial, Sweden’s Exploding Customer ignites seven tracks here by blending the energy of the Jazz Messengers with the exuberance of the Shuffle Demons.

More tonally advanced then either of those bands, the quartet ladles out-of-ordinary timbres and extended technical flourishes onto their raucous merrymaking. Chief composer Martin Küchen, as comfortable with the grinding exhortations of noise bands as minimalist improvisation, often works a groove from A (Ayler) on tenor saxophone to D (Dolphy) on alto. Yet his pinched, squalling timbres have earlier antecedents: note the stuttering Lockjaw Davis-like honks and snorts on “Goodbye Smith Town” aptly backed by the hard-hitting backbeat of drummer Kjell Nordeson. MORE

November 15, 2005

Exploding Customer

Live at Tapere Jazz Happening
booklet notes for Ayler aylCD-031

By Ken Waxman

Swedish saxophonist Martin Küchen just smiles when asked why his exciting Freebop quartet, Exploding Customer, has such an off-putting name. In the past he’s declared that “your name is only a practical necessity, a vessel carrying your stuff to the listeners waiting on the shores of craving for music. Music has nothing whatsoever to do with names; music is beyond fame, financial security and idolization.”

Certainly the veteran alto and tenor saxophonist, whose background has included everything from busking on the streets to working regularly in aggregations with such international sound explorers as British bassist Tony Wren, Norwegian percussionist Ingar Zach and German trumpeter Birgit Ulher, is committed to music above all else. Yet he certainly doesn’t mean any harm to the audience. Judging from the crowd’s enthusiastic reaction for this set, recorded at 2004’s Tampere (Finland’s) Jazz Happening, note that the only explosions in the customers resulting from this performance are those of spontaneous excitement as the band improvises. MORE

October 18, 2004

FREDRIK NORDSTRÖM QUINTET

Moment
Moserobie MMP CD 018

FIREHOUSE
Live at Glen Miller Café
Ayler aylCD-055

Taking into account the obvious geographical and distance issues, it’s starting to appear that the closest parallel to the cohesive growth of young improvisers appearing in Chicago is the burgeoning scene in Stockholm and Oslo.

Like Chicago, there seem to be any number of fine, new Freebop bands putting out praiseworthy CDs. Unlike the factionalism of New York, say, or London, where the multiple scenes rarely interact, Chicago musicians are in-and-out of each others’ bands and recordings. It’s the same story in the Norwegian and Swedish capitals. MORE

August 23, 2004

ATOMIC/SCHOOL DAYS

ATOMIC/SCHOOL DAYS Nuclear Assembly Hall
Okkadisk OD 12049

More of an internationalist than most American musicians, Chicago-based reedist Ken Vandermark has made a point of forming concordances with European musicians. Not only is he one of the key constituents of saxist Peter Brötzmann’s Chicago Tentet, but he often works in half-European/half American bands like the AALY trio, the Territory Band and the group featured here.

As its name makes clear, the octet combines the School Days band -- Vandermark, trombonist Jeb Bishop, vibist Kjell Nordeson, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love -- with trumpeter Magnus Broo, reedist Fredrik Ljungkvist and pianist Håvard Wiik who with Håker Flaten and Nilssen-Love make up the Scandinavian quintet Atomic. The results spread over two CD sides are dazzlingly spectacular. MORE

March 17, 2003

VANDERMARK/STRID/SANDELL/STACKENÄS/NORDESON

Two Days in December
Wobbly Rail 012

THE VANDERMARK 5 Free Jazz Classics Vols. 1 & 2
Atavistic ALP1372CD

TERRITORY BAND-2 Atlas
Okka Disk 12050

Ken Vandermark seems to put out more discs in a year than some earlier jazzmen did in a career. But if he keeps turning out fine sessions like this single CD (ATLAS) and two double CDs, then there's little reason to complain.

Like other improvising musicians before him, the multi-reedman realizes that the best way to keep things fresh is to consistently change playing situations. On these five discs the circumstances range from a series of duos with four different Swedish improvisers (TWO DAYS); 13 recreations of 1960s-1970s advanced jazz standards with his regular quintet (FREE JAZZ); and a speedy romp through four original compositions as part of a 12-piece mixed American/European band (ATLAS). MORE

December 16, 2002

ALBERTO PINTON/CLEAR NOW

Common Intent
m.m.p. CD 003

EXPLODING CUSTOMER
Live the Glenn Miller Café
Ayler aylCD-030

Proof -- if any is still needed -- of jazz’s universality comes with a quick rundown of the background of the musicians who make up Clear Now. Leader, reedman Albert Pinton was born in Venice, studied in Stockholm, at Berklee in Boston and New York’s Manhattan School of Music and now resides in Stockholm, where he’s a member of the Swedish Radio Jazz Orchestra as well as performing with other bands. MORE