What Have We Done So Far
Hear the World. The Globalization of Jazz (JAZZIZ)
JAZZIZ Magazine Editor's Letter
"Jazz is known all over the world as an American musical art form and that's it. No America, no jazz,” said drummer and bandleader Art Blakey. “I've seen people try to connect it to other countries, for instance to Africa, but it doesn't have a damn thing to do with Africa."
Blakey knew a thing or two about the music and educated several generations of musicians in his rolling graduate school the Jazz Messengers. He was, of course, right.
In the beginning, there was America.
Nils Petter Molvær and the Music of Paradoxes (JAZZIZ)
The music of Nils Petter Molvær is the sound of paradox. It’s the sound of “Solid Ether,” a track from the Norwegian trumpeter, composer, and producer’s recently released CD, An American Compilation (Thirsty Ear). In fact, “Solid Ether” could serve as a manifesto on Molvær’s musical philosophy: delicate melodies floating over brutal, industrial rhythms; breathy, asymmetrical trumpet phrases flowing over clockwork-exact percussion loops; hints of folk music mixed with whirring, burping noises of technology. For all of this meticulous intellectual scaffolding, the result suggests electro-tribal dance music.
Testament: The Making of Michael Brecker's Final Album (JAZZIZ)
Most jazz recordings are little more than souvenirs, true-color snapshots of moments in the music’s history and in artists’ careers. Michael Brecker’s Pilgrimage (Heads Up) is a different matter.
Recorded over four days in August 2006, and mixed shortly after Brecker succumbed to leukemia on January 13, at the age of 57, Pilgrimage is the saxophonist’s first recording entirely comprised of his original compositions. The balance between written passages and improvisational spaces suggests architectural designs rather than conventional song forms. Every musical element — the knotty melodies, laconic harmonies, and oddly metered grooves — is pared down to its essence.