Reviews: Mira (2014)

Posted on jan 23, 2014 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

ÅRETS SKIVE?    Record of the Year ? Tor Hammerø  Side 2 Det er nok i tidligste laget å utrope årets skive allerede nå, men jeg er ganske så sikker på at “Mira” blir med i tetfeltet når vi nærmer oss slutten av året. Read more All About Jazz .  John Kelman A long overdue and equally impressive follow-up—albeit for different reasons—Mira presents this trio in a different light to its 2008 debut; still, it’s no surprise that Andersen, Vinaccia and Smith prove as capable of darker intents as they do more energetic exchanges. Read More INSTRUMENTAL  Michael S. Clarck A Personal Space: MIRA by Arild Andersen, Paolo Vinaccia and Tommy Smith Mira A is a red giant in the constellation of Ceti and can be seen from Earth, often with the naked eye. It is a variable star whose luminescence fluctuates over time, and its name is derived from the Latin for “wonderful” or “astonishing”. There is much on this Mira that is wonderful, with more than a few astonishing moments. Read More Jazz Echo Die Ruhe nach dem Sturm: Arild Andersen, Paolo Vinaccia und Tommy Smith mit neuem Album “Mira” Read More  Jazzcamera  John Watson When I first heard this trio in concert some years ago I was hugely impressed. Like many reviewers, I had been familiar with the work of bassist Arild Andersen and saxophonist Tommy Smith for a very long time, though drummer Vinaccia was new to me at the time of that first concert. Read More BlogPost Tim Niland This particular group had a wonderful performance on the album Live At Belleville from 2009 where the group of Arild Andersen on bass, Tommy Smith on tenor saxophone and shakuhachi, and Paolo Vinaccia on drums where they gave an explosive performance that made my top ten for that particular year. Read More GUSTO    TheBuffaloNews.com Discs: Young the Giant, Arild Andersen, Barbara Levy Daniels and Donna Vivino Mira  [ECM] Funny thing about Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen. At age 68, his international profile has been raised to the highest point it has probably ever been. And that’s despite his near ubiquity in European jazz over the decades and frequent appearances on ECM. Read More...

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Review Of «Celebration» New York City Jazz Records

Posted on mai 13, 2013 in News, Record Reviews | 0 comments

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Down Beat 4 1/2 stars for «Celebration»

Posted on des 23, 2012 in Blogsidebar, News, Record Reviews | 1 comment

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» JazzViews» Celebration

Posted on nov 2, 2012 in Blog, Blogsidebar, Record Reviews | 1 comment

TUESDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2012 CD Review: ARILD ANDERSON & THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL JAZZ ORCHESTRA/TOMMY SMITH – CELEBRATION   ARILD ANDERSON & THE SCOTTISH NATIONAL JAZZ ORCHESTRA/TOMMY SMITH – Celebration ECM 2259/279 0947 Martin Kershaw (cl, ss, as); Paul Towndrow (as); Tommy Smith (fl, ts); Konrad Wiszniewski (ts); Bill Fleming (bcl, bs); Ryan Quigley, Cameron Jay, Richard Iles, Tom MacNiven (t, fl-h); Chris Grieve, Phil O’Malley, Michael Owers (tb); Lorna MacDonald (b-tb); Steve Hamilton (p); Calum, Gourlay (b); Alyn Cosker (d) Recorded October 2010 What better way to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of ECM Records than with an album of compositions that are indelibly linked to the label and the artists who record for it; and who better to perform it than one of the label’s longest serving musicians, Arild Anderson as the soloist with arguably Europe’s leading big band. Anderson needs no introduction. One of Scandinavia’s finest bass players, who has worked in numerous aggregations as leader and sideman for ECM, and a soloist who is more than up for the challenges that this project was to throw at him. The selection of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, however, would not have been a foregone conclusion but even the most casual listen to the music endorses whole heartedly that the right decision was made. The last few years has seen the SNJO develop into a world class orchestra, able to handle material from the classic big band era and composers to contemporary commissions and works from the leading musicians around the globe. The compositions on this live recording features newly commissioned arrangements from six arrangers  from the UK, Europe and America that cast new light on such familiar material as Chick Corea’s ‘Crystal Silence’, and ‘My Song’ by fellow pianist Keith Jarrett (arranged by Makota Ozone and Geoffrey Keezer respectively); but it as a complete entity that this project is realised so successfully. With superlative arrangements, a master soloist in bassist Andersen, and an ensemble as flexible as the SNJO the album is captivating from start to finish, and in an era of overlong CDs one has to lament the fact that this is not a double album. In an hour long programme it is impossible to single out individual tracks as the main event of the night. From the opening ‘May Dance’ (featuring the orchestra’s director, Tommy Smith’s tenor solo), Mike Gibb’s arrangements of Anderson’s composition ‘Independency, Part 4’ to the beautifully structured and dynamic ‘Ulrikas Dans’ by Trygve Seim (incidental y the only composer who has a hand in re-arranging his own composition for the orchestra) Arild Andersen and the SNJO provide a truly fitting celebration for the music of...

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Celebration Jazz Times

Posted on jul 28, 2012 in Blogsidebar, Record Reviews | 0 comments

07/18/12 Arild Andersen Celebration ECM Records By Thomas Conrad Celebration is an atypical ECM album. It is a live big-band recording and a “greatest hits” project, and its somewhat distant sonic perspective on the orchestra lacks the intimacy of the “ECM sound.” But the more you listen the more sense it makes. Arild Andersen chose six songs associated with the ECM label, and commissioned six different arrangers to create new charts for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra under the direction of Tommy Smith. Andersen, on bass, is the featured soloist. The concert was recorded in Stevenson Hall at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in October 2010. Most of these pieces began life as small-group music. It is revelatory to hear them elaborated and magnified for a large orchestra, and to hear all previous solo voices amalgamated into one. Andersen is eloquent and flowing and endlessly suggestive. In Makoto Ozone’s arrangement, Chick Corea’s “Crystal Silence” reveals new layers. Its familiar two-note call shifts in color every time it is restated by a different section of the ensemble. When the orchestral details and embellishments subside, Andersen’s bass is suddenly there, picking out the theme with slow solemnity. Among living bassists, Andersen shares a quality with Charlie Haden. He can pluck one note and hang it in the air and make it resonate with human pathos. Keith Jarrett’s “My Song,” arranged by Geoffrey Keezer, initially sounds like itself because its bright, delicate melodic incantation is introduced on piano. But then Andersen’s bass takes it into another dark language. Tommy Smith solos briefly. He is a powerful tenor saxophonist who limits his solo role on this album to a few compelling interjections. On his own rapt arrangement of Jan Garbarek’s “Molde Canticle,” he comes in on top of Andersen’s bass and escalates the ritual. Celebration is atypically accessible and seductive. Originally published in July/August 2012 BUY THIS ALBUM from Amazon.com STREAM THIS CD from Rhapsody.com  ...

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Celebration Jazz Journal

Posted on jul 27, 2012 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

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Celebration All about Jazz

Posted on jul 27, 2012 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

By JOHN KELMAN, Published: June 20, 2012   Arild Andersen Celebration ECM Records 2012 With all the activities surrounding the 40th anniversary of ECM Records in 2009—from a three-day festival-within-a-festival at that year’s Enjoy Jazz Festival in Mannheim, Germany, and the budget-priced Touchstone Series reissue of forty essential ECM titles, to the publication of an all-German book of commissioned writing, Die Blaue Klang (Wolke Verlag, 2010), and the follow-up to 1996’s much coveted and out-of-print Sleeves of Desire: A Cover Story (Lars Müller Publishers, 1996)—it is, perhaps, something of a surprise that there weren’t any more specifically musical celebrations of a label that, under the leadership of primary producer Manfred Eicher, has quite literally changed the face of not just jazz, but all music, period. Still, with over 1,200 releases to date, it’s always seemed like 2009’s anniversary was a missed opportunity for boundary-busting label that has always spent more time looking forward to the next record than self-congratulatory reassessments of accomplishments past. Arild Andersen’s Celebration rights that wrong with a live recording which once again teams the Norwegian bassist with Scottish saxophonist Tommy Smith—who, in a trio completed by Italian expat drummer Paolo Vinaccia, released Live in Belleville (ECM, 2008), one of that year’s best and a clear high watermark in Andersen’s career. One of ECM’s earliest discoveries that, alongside fellow Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek}, guitarist Terje Rypdal and drummer Jon Christensen, placed Norway on the map, Andersen’s robust tone and lyrical disposition has made him one of the label’s most enduring double bassists, with nearly 25 releases as a leader and/or sideman. The project was instigated by Smith—who, since returning to Scotland after studying at Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music in the miid-1980s, and performing/recording with artists including vibraphonist Gary Burton, has reinvigorated the Scottish jazz scene through the creation of the Tommy Smith Youth Jazz Orchestra, which feeds up-and-coming students into his more seasoned Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and recordings like 2010’s career milestone Torah and the following year’s equally stellar Karma, both on his own Spartacus Records imprint. Andersen is the featured soloist on half a dozen arrangements written specifically for this date, revisiting material from classic ECM recordings including Garbarek’s I Took Up The Runes (1990), Gateway‘s self-titled 1975 debut, pianist Keith Jarrett‘s enduring My Song (1978) and the debut of pianist Chick Corea‘s sublime duo with Gary Burton—which, forty years later, continues unabated with Hot House< (Concord, 2012)—on 1973’s still relevant Crystal Silence. Andersen may, indeed, look back upon a buoyantly swinging version of Dave Holland‘s May Dance,» from Gateway, and gentle yet dynamic re-imaginings of both Jarrett’s «My Song» and Corea’s «Crystal Silence»—each piece, as with all of Celebration, arranged by a different artist recruited by Smith for the job, including pianists Makoto Ozone and Geoffrey Keezer—but the hour-long set also revisits more contemporary fare. «Ulrikas Dans»—written by Trygve Seim for his stunning 2003 ECM debut, Different Rivers—is placed here into a more expansive landscape by the Norwegian saxophonist and his partner in the smaller, egalitarian ensemble The Source, trombonist Øyvind Brække, with more solo space than Seim normally allows for. Andersen’s own «Independency Part 4,» on the other hand (from Live at Belleville), is adapted for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra by Michael Gibbs, whose Back in the Days (Cuneiform, 2012) is another recent reminder of the South African expat’s clear place in jazz history. Smith takes his own turn at arranging, adapting Garbarek’s «Molde Canticle Part 1» and lending it greater breadth and depth than originally possible by the saxophonist’s quintet, with both the power it always intimated and...

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Celebration The Herald

Posted on jul 27, 2012 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

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Celebration The Guardian

Posted on jul 27, 2012 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

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Celebration Jazzwise

Posted on jul 27, 2012 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

Jazzwise – June 2012 CELEBRATION ECM 279 0947 | **** Arild Andersen/the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra/Tommy Smith   Bassist Arild Andersen’s critically acclaimed trio with Tommy Smith on saxophone has toured extensively and recorded for ECM – Live at Belleville – and has inevitably led to Andersen’s collaboration with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, created by Smith in 1995. Celebration is a celebration of ECM, and Andersen just happens to be one of its original stars, first appearing in 1970 on the label’s seventh LP, Afric Pepperbird. The album comprises six pieces selected from the label’s recorded corpus, arranged by Geoffrey Keezer, Makoto Ozone, Mike Gibbs and Tommy Smith who comprise part of a panel of arrangers Smith has turned to in the past to realise the remarkable range of projects he devises for the orchestra. There are also some new arrangers in Christian Jacob and Trygve Seim and Øyvind Braekke (the later the director of the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra), Jacob producing the arrangement of Dave Holland’s ‘May Dance’ and Seim and Braeke combing on an arrangement of Seim’s own ‘Ulrikas Dance’. The fulcrum of this celebration is Arild Andersen, one of the truly great bass players in European jazz, whose wonderful, full tone is one of the joys of this album. Smith, whose playing betrays Jan Garbarek’s influence both in his respect for tone and well crafted melody, arranged ‘Molde Canticle Part 1’ and has throughout the album, together with Andersen, somehow captured the spirit of what ECM has come to represent in contemporary jazz today. But the star of the show is really the orchestra, whose intonation, articulation and respect for dynamics bring vivid life to pieces such as ‘My Song’, ‘Crystal Silence’ and ‘Independency Part 4.’   Stuart Nicholson...

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Celebration Norwegian Papers VG, Dagbladet, Nettavisen side 2

Posted on jul 26, 2012 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

Stort og flott Av: TOR HAMMERØ PUBLISERT 19.06.12 12:47 Arild Andersen Celebration ECM/Grappa/Musikkoperatørene I forbindelse med ECMs 40 års jubileum i 2009, fikk den skotske mestersaksofonisten Tommy Smith en idé om å arrangere noe av musikken som hadde blitt unnfanga under ECM-paraplyen for storband. Storbandet han hadde i tankene var Scottish National Jazz Orchestra som han hadde stifta i 1995. Solisten han ville ha med seg var superbassist Arild Andersen som har vært forbundet med ECM helt siden starten i 1969. Smith og Andersen har samarbeida lenge i Andersens trio med trommeslager Paolo Vinaccia. Smith vet dermed bedre enn de fleste hvilken enorm solist Andersen er og hvilken varme det er i uttrykket og tonen hans. Han mer enn ante hvilken perfekt solist Andersen ville være i en slik setting.   Låtene de to plukka ut var Dave Hollands «May Dance», Jan Garbareks «Molde Canticle, Part 1», Chick Coreas «Crystal Silence», Trygve Seims «Ulrikas Dans», Andersens «Independency, Part 4» og Keith Jarretts «My Song». De nyskrevne arrangementene er gjort av Christian Jacob, Smith, Makoto Ozone, Seim og Øyvind Brække, Mike Gibbs og Geoffrey Keezer. Fantastiske komposisjoner av store komponister og nydelige arrangement av unike arrangører er det vi blir servert. Den 23. juli fjor – dagen etter – spilte Arild Andersen, Tommy Smith og Scottish National Jazz Orchestra på Moldejazz. Det som skulle bli en musikalsk fest av de sjeldne fikk usedvanlig mørke skyer over seg – tankene til alle både på scena og i salen var helt andre steder. Derfor er det ekstra hyggelig å høre musikken, her fra en konsert i Glasgow i oktober 2010, i en helt annen sinnsstemning. Storbandet låter fint med en glitrende trommeslager i Alyn Cosker i fyrrommet og Andersen og Smith er solister av det kalibret som trenges for å løfte denne musikken som vi i stor grad har sterke bånd til fra originalene.Verken Arild Andersen eller Tommy Smith har noe som helst å bevise lenger. Vi vet at de er musikanter i verdensklasse og heller ikke denne gangen skuffer de. «Celebration» har blitt en hyllest av både musikken, ECM, Arild Andersen og Tommy Smith....

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Ecm reviews: Green In Blue

Posted on des 23, 2010 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

Arild Andersen double-bass Jon Balke piano Knut Riisnaes tenor and soprano saxophones, flute Pål Thowsen drums Juhani Aaltonen tenor and soprano saxophones, flutes, percussion Lars Jansson piano, Moog-synthesizer, string ensemble I used to hear jazz through a diurnal lens: it was either night or day. I saw this reflected in many album covers, which could be bright (Milt Jackson’s Sunflower comes to mind) or deeply nocturnal (which pegs a good portion of the Blue Note catalogue). ECM has been unique in charting the in-between, those crepuscular moments of the genre in which transitions abound, and in fact define the parameters of the music. This fabulous collection of long out-of-print label efforts by Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen brings those transitions most clearly into focus. His music is firmly earthbound, yet at the same time so far beyond the stratosphere that seasons and times of day cease to matter. Such an approach allows us to come to the music as we are, absorbing it with the same spontaneity in which it is produced. Read the whole review at www.ecmreviews.com...

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Reviews: Live at Belleville

Posted on mai 21, 2010 in Record Reviews | 1 comment

Andersen is a bold soloist with a big tone and an even bigger vision. He indulges in a wide range of expression in this adventurous outing that organically incorporates free jazz, Scandinavian folkoric music, ambient soundscapes, chamber music, frantic freebop, live electronics and even a touch of Ellingtonia. JazzTimes Live at Belleville  Arild Andersen — By Bill Milkowski More than forty years ago, Norwegian bassist, Arild Andersen joined saxophonist Jan Garbarek and the late Finnish drummer Edward Vesala to record the groundbreaking Triptykon (ECM 1972), one of these musicians’ most energized work. It’s a happy coincidence that the new millennium has seen both Garbarek and Andersen—ECM artists, both—create what may be their individual masterpieces Review at www.allaboutjazz.com «Trio i toppslag. Klubbjobb for evigheten.» Review Dagbladet, Terje Mosnes » This is nothing short of a masterclass» Review Jazzwise  London A knockout ECM release Rewiew BBC Music Magazine, Roger Thomas Arild Andersen Jazzman juin 09 Jazzmagazine France   With enough form to lend cohesive shape to the entire set and plenty of freedom to allow Andersen, Smith and Vinaccia to take the music where they will, Live at Belleville is Andersen’s most exciting release to date. Even more, balanced with its lyrical and, at times, near- orchestral tendencies, it’s the best disc of Andersen’s long and varied career. John Kelman All About Jazz That the music is so consistently intelligent and passionate is a tribute to all three members of the trio All About Jazz Best of 2008 Bel disco all’insegna del jazz di qualità, con qualche limite a livello di ricerca e innovazione, ma suonato splendidamente con libertà, disinvoltura e forte personalità. Italia All About Jazz...

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Reviews: Electra (2005)

Posted on okt 5, 2005 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

Once spoken of along with Garbarek, Rypdal and Christensen as one of the “Big Four” of Scandinavian jazz, recent developments in the indigenous jazz of this fertile region have produced many new challengers to Andersen’s crown. … Electra amply fulfils the brief for a modern, fluid, and spacious sound-scape. Vocalists join the mix more as a choral texture than for any lyric purpose, leaving Henriksen’s plaintive trumpet as the de facto lead vocalist. … The longest and boldest piece on the disc, it exemplifies the seamless fusion of ancient and cutting edge materials. Andersen’s talents as a composer have rarely been so much in the spotlight… His precise, warmly resonant bass-lines sound as good as ever, and although Electra may be a long way from Afric Pepperbird, Andersen should be a vital cornerstone of any new Big Four for the 21st Century. Strongly recommended. Fred Grand, Jazzreview ———————————————————————————————————————————————- There’s a feeling of wonder, to much of the enterprise: whispers glitter like frosty breath over Andersen’s rapidly ascending bass and percussion sparkles like unexpected snow. The two stars here are the leader whose authoritative, sympathetic playing is located at the heart of proceedings and Arve Henriksen whose breadth of expression on trumpet is astonishing. The success of the project may be attributed to the sympathy between the narrative’s tragic focus and the sense of mournful fatefulness found in much Norwegian music. Ultimately, the marriage of contemporary sounds and rhythms and Greek chorus, which lays its laments like a whisper upon the contemporary arrangements, is both thrilling and haunting. Colin Buttmer, Jazzwise ———————————————————————————————————————————————- The score, originally commissioned for a Greek Production of Sophocles’ Electra, has a refreshing breadth and vulgarity. It also has the lopsided sprawl you associate with theatre or soundtrack albums. … Andersen’s cast of musicians includes percussionists Paolo Vinaccia and Patrice Héral, guitarist Eivind Aarset and trumpeter Arve Henriksen, whose otherworldly tone dominates the album. There is also some beautiful writing for voices – literally a Greek chorus. Through effects, loops and studio techniques, Andersen succeeds in conjuring a big palette of sounds from a small group of musicians. John L Walters, The Guardian ———————————————————————————————————————————————- A modern score for a new production of the Greek tragedy Electra describes Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen’s latest ECM release, but that doesn’t give the whole picture. Electra is another lush-sounding offering from the Scandinavian contingent, which, at times, blends Asian and Nordic influences in equal measure. … Featuring drummers Paolo Vinaccia and Patrice Héral, the shakuhachi-like trumpet of Arve Henriksen and some haunting vocals underpinned by Andersen’s bass and Eivind Aarset’s textural guitar, this is a truly magnifincent CD. Brent Keefe, Drummer ———————————————————————————————————————————————- With the exception of saxophonist Jan Garbarek, fellow Norwegian Arild Andersen–who has a considerably smaller discography as a leader–has created some of the ECM label’s most stylistically diverse music since the early 1970s. From exploring the nexus of traditional folk music and improvisation on Sagn to the fusion-centric Molde Concert, the spontaneous composition of Karta and the Nordic Cool-meets-string quartet of Hyperborean, Andersen has explored a host of different angles from which to approach his personal jazz-centricity. And by combining a deeply resonant pizzicato bass approach–owing as much to electric bassist Jaco Pastorius as to the more usual suspects–with the use of real-time looping and a lush arco style to create rich orchestral backwashes, Andersen’s voice rings loud and clear in any context. In recent years, while exploring more openended possibilities in groups with Greek pianist Vassilis Tsaboropoulos, Swedish pianist Carsten Dahl, Hungarian-born guitarist Ferenc Snétberger, and German trumpeter Markus Stockhausen, Andersen’s own projects have demonstrated greater emphasis on...

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Reviews: The Triangle (2004)

Posted on jul 5, 2004 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

Most acoustic jazz pianotrios make the keyboard the central focus.In this one it’s the remarkable double-bass playing of the Norwegian Arild Andersen-a virtuoso who can make a plucked note sound as it might last forever. His musical awareness imparts logic and grace to both his own contributions and the ensemble sound of his group. Triangle is more animated and alert than it’s more ruminative predecessor Achirana. A few of the pieces have unexpectedly direct grooves and catchy hooks, several are romantic,broken-chord drifters echoed by abstract percussion-rustles, but the sunset-glow of Andersen’s bass warms everything – and if the prevailing atmosphere is still one of thoughtful chaber-jazz like the Keith Jarrett-like sprint on the uptempo Lines is an exhilarating exception. John Fordham / The Guardian / London March 5 2004 ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Sterke ECM-stemmer Vakkert norsk-gresk-engelsk samarbeid. «THE TRIANGLE» er som forløperen «Achirana» (2000) først og fremst en melodisk festforestilling, der Tsabropoulos’ klassiske klangbehandling, Andersens varme basslyrikk og Marshalls delikate trommespill på ny går opp i en uendelig vakker høyere enhet. Maurice Ravels «Pavane pour une infante défunte» i Tsabropoulos’ arrangement er et av høydepunktene i så måte, pianistens evergreen-aktige «Cinderella Song» et annet. Men trioen er heller ikke å forakte up-tempo, som i Andersens «Lines», der Tsabropoulos nok en gang dokumenterer at klassisk klaverbakgrunn ikke nødvendigvis dreper all «jazzfeeling». Dette er et europeisk samarbeid som står står seg bedre enn det meste. Terje Mosnes / onsdag 3. mars 2004 5:00 ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Elegant tupft … der klassisch geschulte Pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos mit der Rechten seine Kommentare in Arild Andersens tieftönende Wohlklänge – und zirkelt gleichzeitig mit der Linken unabhängige Linien. In die so offenen wie swingenden Strukturen zeichnet John Marshall mit Sticks und Besen feine Figuren. Das Trio, bewährt von Achirana, findet eine Balance zwischen Emotion und Intellekt, die The Triangle zum kostbaren Geschenk macht. Sven Thielmann, Stereoplay ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Das Dreieck im CD-Titel ist ein Hinweis auf die Gleichberechtigung der Musiker bei dieser Aufnahme: Bassist Arild Andersen führt sie zwar an, der griechische Pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos und der britische Schlagzeuger John Marshall spielen aber gleichermaßen tragende Rollen. Es sind weitgehend „Simple Thoughts“ – so ein Songtitel -, die die drei hier vertonen, aber formuliert sind sie voll Hingabe und Konzentration. Die einmalige Fähigkeit Marshalls, mit seiner stolpernden Snare das Tempo zu verschleppen und aufzurauen, wird von Andersen und Tsabropoulos zu schönen Ausflügen abseits der vorgegebenen Wege genutzt. … Nicht nur bei den acht Originalkompositionen, vorwiegend aus der Feder von Andersen und Tsabropoulos, sondern auch bei einem Arrangement von Maurice Ravels „Pavane“ gelingt das ganz vorzüglich. Rolf Thomas, Jazzthing...

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Reviews: Archirana (2000)

Posted on jul 5, 2001 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

Athenian pianist Vassilis Tsabropoulos is one of those rare musicians who is equally at home in both the classical and jazz worlds. His album Achirana demonstrates that, while noted principally for his prowess as a classical pianist, conductor and composer, he also has much to say in a jazz idiom. Accompanied by Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen and British veteran drummer John Marshall, he has assembled an exquisite record filled with fluid, fluent improvisations, which transport and delight. Sample the fearlessly slow gems «Diamond Cut Diamond» and «Valley» and be amazed. Audio, CD des Monats/BBC Music Magazine, Pick of the Month ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Achirana contains one element completely new to my experience. Tsabropoulos, a protégé of Vladimir Ashkenazy, is the first classical pianist I’ve ever heard who can play jazz with real understanding and great imagination. … This trio of virtuosi never over-plays, and the album is beautifully recorded. It’s an object lesson in artistry. Mike Bradley, The Times ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Vassilis Tsabropoulos ist ein klassischer Pianist, der sich auf Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin und Schumann spezialisiert hat und der auch als Komponist tätig ist. Als Jazzmusiker merkt man ihm nur an seiner Anschlagskultur den klassischen Virtuosen an. Achirana ist von einer bewundernswerten Disziplin: Ganz sparsam beginnt das Trio den Improvisationsprozess, entwickelt Kommunikation ohne über die langen Beine der Technik zu stolpern. Aus dem suchenden, pointillistischen Klang der beiden Triokompositionen, die die CD einleiten, entwickeln sich swingende, leichte Stücke, und so ergibt sich eine Mischung, die Achirana zu einem sehr bemerkenswerten Debüt macht. Ian Carr, BBC Music Magazine ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Mit Achirana gibt Vassilis Tsabropoulos, ein 34-jähriger griechischer Pianist, seinen Einstand auf dem Label ECM. Tsabropoulos, der sich im klassischen Feld als einfühlsamer Interpret von Beethoven bis Prokofieff die Bewunderung von Vladimir Ashkenazy erspielte, trifft hier auf zwei alte Bekannte aus dem ECM-Künstlerstamm: den norwegischen Bass-Melodiker und Jan-Garbarek-Partner Arild Andersen sowie den Ex-Soft-Machine-Drummer John Marshall aus England. In diesem paneuropäischen Trio lässt Tsabropoulos seinen klassischen Hintergrund kaum je erkennen – vielmehr profiliert er sich als fantasiebegabter und kraftvoller Jazz-Improvisator, der seine Themen mit langem Atem aufzubauen weiß und so den Hörer sehr wirksam mit hineinzieht in den Strudel der Intensität, der sich oftmals aus fast beschaulichen Motiven und sparsam gesetzten Tontupfern bildet. Alles in allem ist Achirana ein famoses Beispiel leidenschaftlich »stiller« ECM-Kammerjazzmusik. Stefan Richter, Fono Forum ———————————————————————————————————————————————- Arild Andersen, ohnehin einer der melodiebetontesten Bassisten, und John Marshall, der wie Andersen schon auf Dutzenden von Platten seine Qualitäten als perkussiv agierender Schlagzeuger bewiesen hatte, erweisen sich als ideale Partner für den Griechen Vassilis Tsabropoulos … ein Pianist, der in Klassik und Jazz sehr viel zu sagen hat und die Zwischenräume in der Musik ebenso zu schätzen weiß wie die abgestufte, feine Dynamik und die souveräne Interaktion mit seinen Partnern. Das Debüt gibt zu großen Hoffnungen Anlass. Raum und Weite, Luft und ein grandioses Gespür für Melodien zeichnen seine Musik aus. Hoffen wir, dass sich Vassilis Tsabropoulos diese Offenheit auch in künftigen Projekten erhalten kann. Er hat das Zeug, einer der ganz großen Tonpoeten des neuen Jahrtausends zu werden. Matthias Inhoffen, Scala       Werner Stiefele, Stuttgarter Zeitung...

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Reviews Karta (2000)

Posted on jul 5, 2000 in Record Reviews | 0 comments

Das Trio Markus Stockhausen (Trompete) – Arild Andersen (Bass) – Patrice Héral (Percussion) bietet seit Jahren einen neben seinem grenzüberschreitenden, äußerst lebendigen und humorvollen Stil auch immer wieder neue Überraschungen. So lud es vor zwei Jahren mit Terje Rypdal einen Musiker ein, der den elektrischen Gitarrensound weltweit prägte. Es entstand eine neue Musik, die diese vier virtuosen Künstler auf ihrer ECM-Veröffentlichung KARTA und fortan auch auf zahlreichen Jazzfestivals erfolgreich präsentierten. So urteilte die Frankfurter Rundschau (am 6. November 2001): „Für einen fulminanten Abschluss des (Berliner, d. R. ) JazzFests sorgten Markus Stockhausen und sein sphärisches Projekt KARTA. Mit den beiden norwegischen Altvorderen Terje Rypdal und Arild Andersen sowie dem jungen Drummer Patrice Héral hob er alle Genre-Grenzen auf und gab dem Publikum das Gefühl, auf einem fliegenden Teppich ins Reich der Imagination zu entschweben.“ Und Christian Rentsch (Tages-Anzeiger, 6. November 2001) schrieb:„Die vier Musiker, die aus weit auseinander liegenden stilistischen Bereichen innerhalb des Jazz kommen, spielen eine ungebärdige, waghalsige Musik, in der bloß wenig festgelegt ist: eine Melodie vielleicht, einige Absprachen über Form und Stimmung, den Rest überlassen sie der Intuition, welche sie in die abenteuerlichsten Situationen bringt. Die entfesselte Rhythmusgruppe Andersen/Héral treibt das Geschehen in wilden, eruptiven Spannungsbögen voran. Stockhausens kalt gleißende Trompetenlinien und Rypdals bis ins Geräuschhafte reichende Rockjazzentwürfe ballen sich, verwirbeln sich zu abenteuerlichen Klang- und Krachstrukturen. Nach so viel Konventionellen so viel Rückschau in die Geschichte war dies endlich eine Musik, die etwas vom Erlebnis- und Erregungspotenzial des aktuellen Jazz widerspiegelte. Musik mit Visionen“. Zur Musik des Trios wäre noch manches zu sagen. Wir wollen uns hier auf zwei Kommentare beschränken: «Wenn Markus Stockhausen in Trompete und Flügelhorn bläst, entsteht eine fast magische Klangwelt im Grenzbereich zwischen Jazz und Neuer Musik.» (Roman Rhode; Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin) Dies erklärt sich aus der Biografie des Musikers und dem, was Markus Stockhausen treffend „Komprovisation“ nennt: Ausgangspunkt der Musik sind Kompositionen von Arild und Markus, doch entstehen weite Teile der Musik im Augenblick. Was dabei herauskommen kann, beschrieb ein Kritiker mit den Worten: «Die Drei boten ein Feuerwerk vorzüglicher Instrumentaltechnik. Die Kommunikation zwischen den Musikern war ungewöhnlich dicht, so dass eine gegenseitige Steigerung zu verzeichnen war. Wenn sich die Spielweisen einmal von einander entfernten, kam irgendwann rondoartig auch wieder die Kraft der Einstimmigkeit als Schönheit der musikalischen Übereinstimmung zum Tragen… Es war zeitgenössische Musik der besonderen Art, ein Ballspiel wandernder Ideen, manchmal von triumphaler Schönheit, mit Spaß bei den Musikern und beim Publikum.“ Peter Zacher, sächsischen Zeitung vom 27.04.1998...

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