THE LIVING ROOM: Still Distant Still (Ilk Music)

themilkman on Jan 15th 2012 07:28 pm

The Living Room: Still Distant Still

Still Distant Still
Ilk Music 2011
08 Tracks. 45mins31secs

Amazon UK: DLD US: DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

The meeting of three extremely talented and respected musicians in their own right, The Living Room is a breathtaking formation with a particularly developed taste for complex avant-gardist jazz. Formed of Danish saxophonist Torben Snekkestad, pianist Søren Kjærgaard, also from Denmark, and Norwegian drummer and percussionist Thomas Strønen, The Living Room have, for their debut, devised a series of intricate minimal improvised pieces where they explore the outer reaches of contemporary jazz.

Still Distant Still is not an easy record to ease oneself into. Right from the opening moments of Tremolo Hiving, the tone is set: sparse percussions over which a sax flutters hesitantly, never gathering any more than a few notes at any one time. Continue Reading »

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SPRING: Slides (Ilk)

themilkman on Jul 19th 2011 01:18 am

Spring: Slides

Ilk 2011
05 Tracks. 44mins30secs

Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: DLD

Danish jazz quartet Spring first appeared in early 2008 with a self-titled album released on Copenhagen-based imprint Ilk. Led by Anders Banke (alto sax, clarinet, bass clarinet) and Norwegian-born Torben Snekkestad (tenor and soprano sax, violimba), with a rhythmic section comprising double bass player Jonas Westergaard and drummer and percussionist Peter Bruun, the quartet’s debut release, carried by both an impressive front ensemble and a very effective rhythmic section, demonstrated a taste for refined angular compositions which, while remaining in a fairly conventional set up, proved to be extremely convincing.

Three years on, the quartet have moved into much more abstract territories with their second opus. Continue Reading »

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themilkman on Jun 3rd 2009 12:07 am

Torben Snekkestad: Conic Folded

Conic Folded
Ilk 2009
11 Tracks. 50mins00secs

Icon: arrow Amazon UK: CD | DLD US: CD | DLD iTunes: DLD Spotify: STRM

Scandinavia has long been a hot bed for contemporary jazz, with musicians resolutely drifting away from traditional American or European forms to explore new sounds and devise their own rules. Norwegian saxophonist Torben Snekkestad has been sharpening his talent in many formations in the last ten years, including stints with Trygve Seim and Thomas Strønen, but Conic Folded is his first solo record.

Recorded with Norwegian pianist Jon Balke, who has been an active member of the Scandinavian jazz scene for over thirty years, and Danish bass player Jonas Westergaard a much younger musician who has nevertheless been recording in various formations for years, Conic Folded is a mighty fine record indeed, where desolate melodies appear to find enough life in the driest of orchestrations to suddenly explode in colourful motifs or slowly concentrate into exquisite introvert pieces. Continue Reading »

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