Monday, January 30, 2012

Amy Cervini: Digging Me, Digging You

Amy Cervini (vocals)
Digging Me, Digging You (Anzic Records; 2012)

The first great record of 2012! As you may have noticed I don't write that much about vocalists. I really haven't been able to find great current vocalists (or even good) that compare to Stacey Kent and Claire Martin and Karrin Alysson. So this month my hyperbolic pretentiousness was slapped upside the head when I put Amy Cervini's latest, Digging Me, Digging You in the CD player.

I've really only heard Amy Cervini's music a couple of times but didn't pay close enough attention until now. And I have to say I've been missing out on an extremely inventive and dynamic performer. Her voice is soft but packs the punch. Her choice in repertoire is what really threw me for a loop. And will probably do the same for you. We're not talkin' bout the Great American or sultry Latin Songbooks anymore. This is an artist who is out to change the way we think about what can be done with song. She has covered Depeche Mode and The Cardigans of late. Both with startling success as far how the material turned out. But on her Digging Me, Digging You, Cervini dives into one of the more under appreciated jazz vocalists, the late Blossom Dearie.

Blossom Dearie was the hipsters choice and while she is worshiped within jazz circles I just don't think she gets enough credit outside like many of the other female legends do. Hopefully Cervini will change that. "Everything I Got Belongs To You" sets the stage for this session. It's got a jump swing feel but is masterfully soulful under Cervini's direction. It's an easy relaxing opening that pulls you in with some great wind-work by Anat and Avishai Cohen and then upbeat guitar from Jesse Lewis. The emotional and crisp touch of Cervini's vocals on Blossom Dearie, Herb Alpert penned, "I Like You, You're Nice" feels more full-bodied than the original but you can sense the comparisons and why this album can be become an important step in Cervini's wider recognition.

"My Attorney Bernie" is a full-throttle swing, drivin' by Bruce Barth (piano) and Matt Wilson (drums). Cervini's really belts it out which is a little different than the original which keeps things a little light but the two definite stand on there own. Many will be familiar with the playfulness of the "Doodlin' Song" and this might be were both Dearie and Cervini do become one. The punch I talked about earlier is on display here. This is one of those great jazz club songs that becomes infectious by the second verse. "Figure Eight" is where Cervini displays a panache for creativity. This piece is slowed down even more than the slower original. It allows the orchestra and vocalist to both find their space and both deliver with elegance and beauty.

Digging Me, Digging You is a brilliant work of vocal beauty and composition choices. I am very happy to have stumbled onto a new and exciting vocalist such as Amy Cervini. I think you will be too. Digging Me, Digging You will be on my list of top albums in twelve months. Guaranteed. Highly Recommended.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Erland Dahlen: Rolling Bomber

Erland Dahlen (drums; electronics)
Rolling Bomber (Hubro Music; 2012)

It's a little hard to believe that Rolling Bomber is Erland Dahlen's first solo album. You can hear his work across a number of releases; most notably the recent Nils Petter Molvaer album and in Eivind Aarset Sonic Codex Orchestra. Dahlen has a rich and vivid quality to his playing and his compositions on his Rolling Bomber are just as diverse and spirited.  

"Flower Power" comes on like a scene out of Forbidden Planet. Dahlen's drum work and electronics feels someone using a theremin to buzz through your skull. It's groovy and freighting all at once. Dahlen's creative use of electronic and percussion instruments play a significant roll in the sound and structure of the album. The sounds are almost other-worldly in parts. And in others almost tribal. But let's not describe this album as a collection of avant garde noise experiments; Rolling Bomber has a lot of structure to each of its pieces. "Piratman" is an example of the combination of ethnic rhythms and spaced out thoughts. At times it was reminiscent of the solo work from Stewart Copland or even the multi-cultural work of Jon Hassell.

"Pyramid" has the experimental effects you would expect from a bustling record like this. There are ambient effects that are enhanced by Dahlen's dense rolling drum tones. It's a heavy piece filled with crunching, crackles and brushes that are beautiful and entrancing. "Germany" has an interesting opening that after my third glass of (well, that's a different story...) felt like I was listening to a track from the Cure's Pornography album (that's not a bad thing, people). This is probably the most upbeat tempo track on the album yet the perfect way to close these high-tech experiments in sound.

I've been addicted to this album for a couple of weeks now and combining a listen of Nils Petter Molvaer's Baboon Moon and Rolling Bomber, you have a deep lesson in one of the more undiscovered drummer/composer of the next generation. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Benoit Delbecq & Francois Houle: Because She Hoped

Benoit Delbecq (piano)
Francois Houle (clarinet)
Because She Hoped (Songlines; 2011)

Because She Hoped is beautifully crafted, well delivering notes and patterns that are not just ethereal but are also astounding. This is the third collaboration between the Canadian/French duo, Delbecq and Houle. For me, this is the improvised equivalent of Pierre Fournier and Friedrich Gulda. While that classical duo performed miracles with the work of Beethoven, Delbecq and Houle manage this in the tradition of classic chamber music, but also with the swirling inspiration of minimalism and improvising composers of both jazz and classical.

On Because She Hoped, the material stands out with a unique and distinct set of principles that revolve around where will the music take you. "The Mystery Song" originally written by Duke Ellington is completely transformed into a minimalist masterpiece. The jovial aspects of the original are stripped to create a more intimate and slow journey that takes you down a path filled with unknown openings and closing. Delbecq's emotions never rise, even during the more uptempo parts midway through. Houle's chords tie things together softly making it feel less haunted than the title might suggest.

"Because She Hoped" is melodic and driven more by Houle's bold yet fluid lines. It's a clouded piece with jagged little structures slowly preening their way out. Houle has written a piece that provides a slow burn but a beautiful one resonates loudly. The duo also cover Steve Lacy's (a big influence on the musicians) "Cliches" which sounds very similar to the original but with little more playfulness. With "Ando," Delbecq and Houle close out the album on a more avant garde note. It's filled with abbreviated patterns and what must be some work on prepared piano by Delbecq. It's complex and expressive and closes out the Because She Hoped on a jubilant note. 

Benoit Delbecq and Francois Houle may be an unknown name to some readers but you really should check this duo out. Because She Hoped is an enchanting, original and vibrant work that demands your attention. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Thing: Mono

The Thing (group)
Mono (SmallTown Jazz; 2011)
Mats Gustafsson (sax)
Ingebrigt Haker-Flaten (bass)
Paal Nilssen-Love (drums)

Gustafsson, Haker-Flaten and Nilssen-Love return in the best way possible--in mono. Mono is the trio's 9th (or 12th if you consider their three disc boxed set, Now And Forever)  album, and it delivers with interesting and exciting results. Mono is raw as ever and captures the grit of their musicianship more so than recent recordings. If that was possible. 

The funky thumping of Haker-Flaten and Gustafsson's cattle call on the opener, "Viking" signifies a pulsating and exciting experience in store for you the listener at home. It's a blistering piece that only settles at the very end. "Bruremarsj" is calm and reflective. A ballad if I could use the term loosely. Soft movements and some breathy intonations from Gustafsson, circular rotations from Nilssen-Love and almost lower registered touches on the strings from Haker-Flaten make this a deeply personal and resonate experience. 

"Silver Slipper" while the shortest piece on the album provides all the aggression The Thing have come to represent--white noise, bliss and adventure. "There is Shitloads of Red Meat Missing" see the group experimenting with sound and texture. Gustafsson horn ripples along like slow water torture. Flaten and Love provide a haunting backdrop of vibrations that help close out the session. 

There's definitely shades of Ornette in the The Thing DNA but they continue to make themselves stand as one of the best European trio on the scene today. Mono is just another supreme work in a cannon that doesn't seem to stop astounding. Excellent stuff.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jason Adasiewicz: Spacer

Jason Adasiewicz's Sun Rooms (trio)
Spacer (Delmark; 2011)
Jason Adasiewicz (vibes)
Nate McBride (bass)
Mike Reed (drums)

Jason Adasiewicz is burning a lasting impression on the Chicago jazz scene and the global scene as of late. His last album, and introduction to his new trio, Sun Rooms (Delmark; 2010) garnered justifiable critical acclaim. His trio have followed that up with the mystical Spacer (Delmark). While I've always seen him as this combination of Elvin Jones, Billy Higgins, Dave Pike and Bobby Hutcherson, Adasiewicz has really come into his own with unique structures and patterns on Spacer that really are astonishing.

The quiet improvisational "Solo One" opens the proceedings to be followed by the hypnotic "Hi-Touch" which slowly gathers each member's thoughts and patterns and wraps them around a more modern bebop groove. The unity that the trio exemplifies on "Run Fly" is sublime. There's an understanding between Adasiewicz and Reed where as they are almost performing in counterpart, somehow it all burns together as one. Then midway into the piece, McBride's thumping and plucking boils in the background and your senses start to move from one instrument to the other. Reed's brief solo towards the end allows the band to turn and refocus as a unit in order to head out to the conclusion.

"The Volunteer," written by McBride is a slow angular groove that while dominated by pulsating tones of Adasiewicz and Reed are molded around some bright and crafty lyricism from McBride. The soft brushes, subtle mallet touches and string movements that open "Bobbie" is beautiful. This ballad, written by one of Adasiewicz's fellow collaborators, Eric Boeren, is soft, sweet and romantic but still has the ethereal affect circling around the melody.

There's certain timbre to Adasiewicz music that most fans are familiar with. It's the way the tunes build, float and gravitate. "Waiting For The Attic" is just that kind of tune. It builds nicely and there are a number of improvised sections that are played to such a perfection that they feel like written notes. The piece then travels to climax in the middle with all instruments rolling along. And then gently settles you down for the conclusion.

I had been wanting to write a piece on Spacer for weeks now. I had intended it to be on my best of 2011 list but I just didn't get the time to absorb the music as much as I liked in order to put word to paper. I'm actually glad I waited, because no matter what, this is definitely one best records to have heard at the end of 2011 or the beginning of 2012. Jason Adasiewicz has reinvented the vibes and turned the sound into something more other-worldly. And with Spacer, he has created his best work yet. Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Intersection: Go Go Beuys Band

The Intersection is an ongoing segment dedicated to global artists that are pushing and changing our definitions of genres.

Go Go Beuys Band
Markowi Nedzinskiemu in Memoriam
(Audio Tong; 2011)
Marek Cholniewski (electronics; guitars; vocals)
Krzysztof Knittel (electronics; guitars; vocals)
Olga Szwajgier (vocals)
Marek Nedzinski (sax)
Janusz Dziubak (vocals)

One of the greatest finds for me in 2011 was this unearthed collection of two mid-eighties sessions from the briefly assembled Go Go Beuys Band. Originally conceived by Cholniewski and Knittel as a series of electronic experiments, the Polish group while definitely influenced by many of the electronic group from Germany and England; should now be considered along side those pioneering bands like, Kraftwerk, Amon Duul, YMO, Faust, Cabaret Voltaire and Throbbing Gristle as one of the important bands of then unknown Eastern Europe.

Markowi Nedzinskiemu in Memoriam opens with "Czad Z Latyny" and it hits with loud bang of percussion and Brion Gysin-esque vocal manipulation. The electronics are primitive but played so interestingly you get caught in a very trippy little loop that doesn't seem to let up. "Szkocka Wojna" deconstructs itself across the board. There seems to be a lot improvising but somehow these musicians all meet in the middle of weird hallucinogenic groove. 

"Rockroll" is the closet piece that has some hallmarks of aiming towards an experimental dance beat (similar to mid period Cabaret Voltaire). It's got some spacey rhythms and hand-claps that are all in the right place and show the group was expanding its ideas.

"Heavy Love," the longest track of the two sessions (just under 8 minutes) feels like Herbie Hancock's Headhunters meeting with Kronos Quartet. There's a funky vibe throughout but with this strange  cello cutting across the groove. Crazy but it works beautifully. "Chodzisz Po Ulicy" plays with reggae beats and distrorted vocals while "Avant Garde" is the synth-droning polar opposite with Throbbing Gristle type movements. Still experimenting with vocals, classical movements, funky sax work and electronic beats, "Heavy Baby" is more than a just a groovy song title. It's an attempt to merge a lot of the albums growing motifs into something even more cohesive. And it works well.

Markowi Nedzinskiemu in Memoriam is more than a treasure trove of lost grooves. It's a historical document into what was happening in Poland and you realize they were diggin' the same material and utilizing those ideas to craft some great and what has to be influential work. If you can find this album it is a must for fans of the aforementioned groups but also a nice beat early electronica, industrial, prog, and whatever else you would like to call it. We just consider it an Intersection. Highly Recommended.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Jesper Zeuthen Trio

Jesper Zeuthen Trio
Jesper Zeuthen (sax)
Adam Pultz Melbye (bass)
Thomas Praestegaard (drums)

Jesper Zeuthen has been an enigmatic presence on the Danish and European jazz scene for over four decades. I first discovered him on a couple of Jakob Bro albums from a few years ago. Exerting a free jazz style that would remind you of Orenette Coleman or mid period John Coltrane, Zeuthen still manages to create his own unique vision and language that is captivating and inspiring. In 2009, Zeuthen began to focus on a new trio which has since garned quite a bit of well deserved recognition of the last few years.

"Andedans" starts our journey through the group's self-titled debut (Jesper Zeuthen Trio). It's a gradual movement and as the notes unfold you realize this will be not only be an exotic free flowing trip; it will also be one with a lot of spirituality. The more philosophical aspect of the music could be derived from Zeuthen's long and illustrious career working in various European forms. It makes for an exciting experience with his new trio.

"Piru Tulee" feels like an old children's rhyme gone spiralling down a dark hole and then picked up by Albert Ayler. Great stuff. Playful, exquisitely improvised and highly effective. "Vilden Sky" opens with some wonderful improvised strumming from Melbye and as Zeuthen and Praestegaard join in the piece becomes an interesting staccato ballad of sorts. Lots of stop/starts and a few blistering notes from Zeuthen but in all an emotional piece underneath some chaos.

Live (Blackout Music; 2011), recorded after almost a year of touring Europe begins almost like Mats Gustafson's The Thing. It's a slow, calm opening of a few bars and a gradual introduction to each members style and then the trio let loose on adventure. The trio seem more at ease with each other after two years of being together. "Husene Pa Volden" and "Sin Skaeve Gang" both are solid laid back pieces that set a rich more mature tone for the evening.

Zeuthen seems more focused on structure here but is definitely not afraid to let the group fly when it has to. And fly they do on "Lad Som Ingenting." Zeuthen runs up and down the scales with fiery abandon. Both Praestegaard and Melbye are in free flowing form that matches note for every chaotic note. Melbye has some terrific, intense, swirling passages about five minutes in that you really start to gravitate to.

The trio maintain a nice balance between fiery improvisation and measured notation. The closing number "Marie Pa Baenken" illustrates this nicely. Zeuthen delivers some beautiful notes through what essentially feels like a classical chamber piece. It's dark and emotive but closes out the evening performance nicely and the audience repays the group in kind.

Unlike some larger European players over the decades (Surman, Przybielski, Brotzmann, et al) Jesper Zeuthen has quietly made his mark throughout Europe. But I hope that this current line up is something that he sticks with. They have grown leaps and bounds in just a few years and I think the next record will be quite astounding. Here's to good listening my should really check out both albums from the Jesper Zeuthen Trio.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Carlos Bica & Azul: Things About

Carlos Bica (bass)
Things About (Clean Feed; 2011)
Frank Mobus (guitar)
Jim Black (drums)

I have to admit, I knew pretty much nothing about Carlos Bica until a few weeks ago. And then to find out this trio has been around for two decades made me feel pretty silly. But somehow Bica's Azul trio's new album, Things About (Clean Feed) really hit me. An album with a real sense of emotion and elegance that brims from the group's lyrical structure. It's unassuming at first, but as the disc moves forwards you begin to get sucked into the lovely tonal nature that each musician has created.

"Things About" feels like something America indie group, Low could have drawn up. It's a gentle midtempo piece that floats between folk, rock and jazz. Written by Bica and Mobus, who also share some beautiful interplay throughout the piece. Black adds soft touches as needed but also steps up the beat towards the end, giving the track some additional force.

There are times when Things About feels like the great trio records made by Gateway (John Abercrombie, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette). More for the mellow passages of the aforementioned than their uptempo fusion tracks. "Cancao Vazia" is one of those moments. A gentle piece that has traditional Portuguese qualities but also a sense of longing and adventure. Bica's bass wraps around you like a warm blanket. It's slow maneuvering but without this pace you can't fully digest the beauty of the material.

"2011" has a few distinct time signatures that help shift this piece beyond the normal jazz trio. It's rich with harmonics and patterns that definitely feel like an avant rock piece. Black and Bica change direction and improvise with real muscle, which also challenges the textured force of Mobus' performance. With "Sonho De Uma Manha De Outono" I may be again reminded of Gateway, only slightly. Bica delivers a well focused closing number that moves softly but embodies a number of different structured notes.

Maybe it was the time of day. Maybe it was the music I was listening to prior to this. Or maybe it was just the right time. But Things About is a quiet and richly diverse work that settled in after the first spin. For this newcomer to Carlos Bica, I have been completely blown away. I hope you are too. Highly Recommended.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Nils Petter Molvaer: Baboon Moon

Nils Petter Molvaer (trumpet; electronics)
Baboon Moon (Thirsty Ear; 2011)
Erland Dahlen (drums)
Stian Westerhus (guitars, electronics)

A Nils Petter Molvaer record is always something to celebrate. Baboon Moon is no different. some ways it is. Molvaer has pared down his outfit to a trio. And while Westerhus and Dahlen have mainly performed with him in live, this set up provides less reliance on dance oriented beats and focuses on acoustic instrumentation and minimal manipulation.

There is a bombastic quality to some of pieces that made me feel as though it was Molvaer backed by King Crimson. "Mercury Heart" storms into view with heavy emphasis on Molvaer's playing (sometimes muted and sometimes just erie trumpet). Dahlen provides a pulverizing presence on drums, while Westerhus delivers all the spacial aspects through some shimmering notes on guitar and electronics.

"Recoil"  ventures into more of a rock territory than anything I've heard Molvaer do in years. There are times where this piece reminded me of the Tonbruket releases. It's powerful, distorted, rhythmic, chaotic and all-around groovy. Dahlen gives an almost tribal display on that will really keep you engaged.

"Prince Of Calm" returns to the more ballad atmospheric material of Molvaer's earliest works. A slow, drone-like feeling dominated by Molvaer's almost teary-eyed performance makes "Prince Of Calm" a very personal piece. "Baboon Moon" builds slowly with Molvaer taking some extended breaths on trumpet with Dahlen and Westerhus instrumenting some lovely rolling effects that cascade louder and louder aided by the subtle harmonies of Susanne Sundfor. Beautiful, distant yet resounding.

While, Nils Petter Molvaer has been important influence on the Norwegian and European scene for almost three decades (including his years before and after Masqualero), Baboon Moon for me sees him regaining is voice and moving in new direction. The stripped down approach for Baboon Moon provides a tighter and more balanced listen for new ears and a real adventure for the die-hard fans like myself. Beautiful work. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Dennis Gonzalez & Joao Paulo Da Silva: So Soft Yet

Dennis Gonzalez (trumpet; cornet)
Joao Paulo Esteves Da Silva (piano; accordion)
So Soft Yet (Clean Feed; 2011)

So Soft Yet (Clean Feed) is an album of beauty and depth. For me this latest collaboration between Gonzalez and Da Silva has even more resonance than their first stellar partnership on 2009's Scape Grace (Clean Feed). This might be due to the longer relationship together and the new material that feels both more unified and diverse.

"Como a Noite" opens the session in a delightful and romantic fashion. Filling the void with lush poetic tones both musicians are taking you on journey that will include some extraordinary exaltation as well as moments of deep reflection. "Broken Harp" has the feeling of Chick Corea and Miles Davis playing solo. Da Silva switches to electric piano and deploys some terrific and spellbinding notes. It has deep psychedelic grooves with some nice improvising from both men. Gonzalez travels up and down with a crisp and reverberating tone that along with Da Silva becomes hypnotic towards the closing passages.

So Soft Yet is deeply rooted in a more interpersonal manner that allows the listener to sink deeper and deeper into music. "Thirst" sees Da Silva on accordion and the conversation the two musicians have is playful and jubilant. The Portuguese elements are well present on this piece as it feels like you're traveling blindfolded down the town street just listening to all the sounds and creating your journey. Lovely stuff.

"Sobre Mi Mi Koracon Doloryozo" is my personal favourite. It's a celebratory piece that is both buoyant and joyous. Gonzalez and Da Silva have a unison that feels like two classical musicians who have performed together for decades. "Augurio" closes the session with dark parameters intertwined past fusion eras with modern eclecticism with beautiful harmonies.

A partnership that started essentially out of nowhere, these two renowned and revered musicians have made two astounding records in just under three years. So Soft Yet is a cool document that expands the floats with high spiritual moments that spread delicately across space and time. Emotional material and highly recommended listening.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Best Albums of 2011: The Complete

JazzWrap revisits a great year of discoveries in 2011.

It was another great year of music and new discoveries for us here in the JazzWrap office. So much so that I didn't get a chance to write about all of them over the last week. So I at least wanted to make sure I listed them as much as I could.

None of these are any particular order. I really only decide on my top two absolute favourites and then let the rest lay where they may. (yeah, I know it's kind of pretentious; but so what! :-)

So here's the list of our favourites and frequently spun albums during 2011.

Jakob Bro: Time
Kris Davis: Aeriol Piano
Lars Fiil Kvartet: Reconsideration
Alog: Unemployed
Kevin Brow: Dolls & Guns
A Giraffe: Under A Table
ASA Trio: Plays The Music Of Thelonious Monk
Daniel Levin: Inner Landscape
Licak & Tuznik Quintet
Sunna Gunnlaugs: Long Pair Bond
Ken Fowser/Behn Gillece Quintet: Duotone
Equilibrium: Walking Voices
Nicole Mitchell: Awakening
Hugo Carvalhais: Nebulosa
John Escreet
Travis Reuter: Rotational Templates
Anne Mette Iversen: Milo Songs
Klang: Other Doors
Michael Dessen: Forget The Pixel
Kit Downes Trio: Quiet Tiger
Julio Resende: You Taste Like A Song
Jachna/Buhl: Unfinished Books
The Necks: Mindset
Otso Lahdeoja: Yonder
Danny Fox Trio: The One Constant
1982 Trio: Pintura
Tonbruket: Dig It To The End
Benjamin Drazen: Inner Flights

Monday, January 2, 2012

Best Album of 2011: Jakob Bro

JazzWrap revisits a great year of discoveries in 2011.

Jakob Bro (guitar)
Time (Loveland Records; 2011)
Thomas Morgan (bass)
Lee Konitz (sax)
Bill Frisell (guitar)

Jakob Bro's presence has been raising in recent years. His last release Balladeering, gained critical acclaim along with prior recordings with Tomasz Stanko. Balladeering was a masterful work that featured Konitz, Frisell and the late Paul Motian. That recording was a monumental step in Bro's career as leader. On his latest, Time (Loveland Records), Bro keeps the quartet setting but sans a drummer. This makes for an even more intimate affair.

With Time, Jakob Bro has written material that is even more deep and personal than the excellent predecessor. Here Konitz and Morgan mingle and create some magnificent colours. The paring of two guitar is just as intriguing as it was on Balladeering. Bro shapes the harmonics and soundscapes while Frisell adds the linear passages to pieces. "Cirkler" is a beautiful number in which Konitz and Morgan provide a calming tone surrounded by mood setting atmospherics from Bro and gentle Americana acoustics of Frisell.

Bro's writing has matured and become rich with various textures and sonic layers than even Balladeering displayed. "Swimmer" is a lonely journey down the motorway. It's a quiet and deeply melodic tone that Bro sets forth but not in a depressing way. It's more a matter of being at piece with ones self.

You can sense there's more intimacy on Time. The musicians feel more affected by each other. They have all played together in various forms over the years so they is great chemistry. "Fiordlands" is another bright moment where Bro's writing is uplifting like a Sunday morning church call. It's bluesy but with close sense of joy that quickly takes hold a few minutes in. Konitz and Bro both wrap this piece like chocolate and caramel.

The closing number "Smaa Dyr" is more of a trio (without Konitz) and it's a beautiful way to close out the album. Just as "Fiordlands" its somber in tone but you can feel the uplifting tone that rising as the piece moves further along.

I fell in love with Time minutes after it finished. Jakob Bro has circled himself with great musicians who effortless craft his material into something special. With Time, Jakob Bro should be on the radar of many jazz fans in 2012. He has grown as a leader, composer and performer. The pieces on this session has stuck with in short time of its release in November. That's why I have named Time as my album of year. Highly Recommended.

JazzWrap was honoured to have another opportunity to discuss recording Time with Jakob Bro recently. Here's a bit of that discussion.

1) Since the acclaim of Balladeering how has your recording process changed?

Time is done pretty much the same way as Balladeering…I composed the songs in August - went to a small cottage by the sea in Denmark and just wrote music for one week straight. Two weeks later I went to New York and met up with Lee, Bill and Thomas at Avatar Studio A…we started playing the songs around 11AM and played pretty much without stopping for two hours…most of the songs are first takes (as with Balladeering)…it was a beautiful experience for which I feel very grateful. 

2) There's more intimacy with Time without a drummer. Was that on purpose?

Yes! I love Balladeering so much and it didn't feel right to me to go in and do the exact same thing again…so I changed the line up. I love Thomas' playing - On "Balladeering" Lee is featured a lot - on "Time" I wanted to feature both Lee and Thomas at the same time and I thought it would be really cool to do so in a very transparent setting without drums. We also recorded "Time" in a different way than Balladeering. All in the same room - sitting in a closed circle without headphones. That in itself is very intimate - you can't change a note once you've played it and you can hear even the slightest sound coming from each other. It was truly a great way to record and James Farber is so incredibly masterful at capturing the moment like that sound wise. 

3) Working with Bill Frisell and Lee Konitz again must have made the recording feel like home?

Well, working with Bill, Lee and Thomas makes me feel honored and very very humble. They all play absolutely incredible on this record and I can't even describe in words how happy I am that they all agreed to join this session and play my songs. 

4) Will you be touring for this record?

I'm touring more and more with my own music. Both in a trio setting and sometimes trio with a soloist…also I have been working with my nonet a bit. I do the same songs as on my recordings but of course they sound different depending on the line up. I'm not going to tour with the original line up from Time. I might do one or two shows if logistics happen to match but nothing is scheduled at the moment. I have some trio gigs lined up for my Danish trio next year, 5 gigs with Jeff Ballard on drums also and in the fall I have a 2 week tour with Thomas Morgan and a drummer.