Reviews that mention Pierre Borel

April 7, 2016

Christian Lillinger

Grund
Pirouet PIT 3086

By Ken Waxman

With angular intensity in his gaze and his hair in a quiff, German percussionist Christian Lillinger, 31, could be jazz’s James Dean. While his acting credentials are unknown, the Berlin-based drummer is a lot more than a pretty face. He’s made his name as a sideman with the likes of venerable clarinetist Rolf Kühn and with his high-octave Hyperactive Kid trio. Now like the leading man who proves his mettle as director and star of a gritty drama, Lillinger has attained another musical plateau with Grund having composed 11 interlocking pieces interpreted by a high-octane septet. Using his trenchant percussion command, the drummer underlines or puts into bolder relief the compositions’ architecture as well as the other players’ contributions. MORE

March 12, 2016

Die Hochstapler

Plays the music of Alvin R. Buckley
Umlaut ub007

Christian Lillinger

Grund

Pirouet PIT 3086 Théo Ceccaldi’s Quartet

Petit Moutarde

ONJazz JP-001

Ziporyn/Zimpel/Zemler/Riley

Green Light

MultiKulti MPTO 12

Dikeman/Parker/Drake

Live at La Resistenza

El Negocito Records eNR041

Something in the Air: Young Blood Still Pumps in Jazz

By Ken Waxman

Child prodigies really don’t exist in improvised music. Occasionally there may be some youngster known for jazz playing. But unlike other musics which depend on a performer having a cute image or being able to copy what’s on the score paper, improvising demands full exposure of an inner self. Lacking maturity the majority of these tyros soon disappear. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t young improvising musicians. But to create notable works, like the skills of exceptional actors or visual artists, true musical talent is almost always refined during the player’s twenties or thirties. MORE

March 12, 2016

Christian Lillinger

Grund
Pirouet PIT 3086

Die Hochstapler

Plays the music of Alvin R. Buckley

Umlaut ub007

Théo Ceccaldi’s Quartet

Petit Moutarde

ONJazz JP-001

Ziporyn/Zimpel/Zemler/Riley

Green Light

MultiKulti MPTO 12

Dikeman/Parker/Drake

Live at La Resistenza

El Negocito Records eNR041

Something in the Air: Young Blood Still Pumps in Jazz

By Ken Waxman
MORE

August 1, 2014

Festival Report

Jazzdor-Strasbourg-Berlin 2014
By Ken Waxman

The KulturBrauerei’s music space Kesselhaus in East Berlin was a fitting site for the eighth annual Jazzdor-Strasbourg-Berlin (JSB) festival June 3-6. With jazz and improvised music’s universality now a given, a festival presenting mostly French jazz taking place in what had been one of Berlin’s oldest breweries, now repurposed from industrial to artistic use, doesn’t seem that much of a stretch.

Overall its all-inclusive musical theme was confirmed by the programming of JSB’s artistic director Philippe Ochem and his team, which already host Strasbourg’s annual Jazzdor festival. Over four nights, JSB presented musician from different parts of Germany, Belgium and the US plus proudly delineated Basque and Corsican players, all of whom worked with improvisers from France’s major musical centres. MORE

April 2, 2014

Die Hochstapler

The Braxtornette Project
Umlaut Records ub004

Douglas/Doxas/Swallow/Doxas

Riverside

Greenleaf Music GLM 1036

Flex Bent Braam

Lucebert

BBBCD 16

Tom Rainey

Obbligato

Intakt Records CD 227

The Whammies

Play the Music of Steve Lacy Vol. 2

Driff Records CD 1303

Something In The Air: A New Take on Standards – Jazz and Otherwise

By Ken Waxman

Since jazz’s beginnings, the measure of a musician’s talent has not only been how well the person improvises, but also how he or she interprets standards. In the 21st century a standard song has evolved past its Tin Pan Alley origins, plus distinctive purely jazz compositions have entered the canon. But while more conservative players treat standards as immutable, the CDs here are noteworthy because their creators distinctively re-imagine standards. MORE

February 7, 2013

Label Spotlight

Umlaut
By Ken Waxman

For Swedes the umlaut or two dots over common vowels in Swedish transforms one sound into another. When Swedish-born, Berlin-based bassist Joel Grip explained that to others while studying in Baltimore, the transformative concept appealed to him so much that when he founded a record label he decided to adopt Umlaut as its name. Since 2004, Umlaut, now a musical collective with members in Sweden, Germany and France, has released 25 productions. The discs feature a cross section of young improvisers, including Grip, trumpeters Axel Dörner and Niklas Barnö, saxophonist Pierre-Antoine Badaroux and pianist Alexander Zethson plus more established musicians such as drummer Sven-Åke Johansson. “The research and questioning of improvisation and composition play an important role for Umlaut. Our improvisations become composed memory when heard, and our compositions are stated improvised memories,” says Grip. MORE

February 2, 2013

Pierre-Antoine Badaroux

Composition No. 6
Umlaut Records umfrcd-06

Yoni Kretzmer’s 2 Bass Quartet

Weight

OutNow Records ONR 008

Using the textures of two double basses to enhance the rhythmic and descriptive qualities of ensembles has its antecedents in both large group and combo music of the mid-1960s onwards. However common usage is limited by the necessity of finding sympathetic bull fiddlers, not to mention economies of scale. These CDs – one mostly French, the other mostly American – demonstrate how two basses can be utilized in different contexts. Unsurprisingly neither sounds remotely like the other. MORE