Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites — Friesengeist Part Pi - Ascendances
(Gazul GA 8686.AR, 2006, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01For the third installment of his Friesengeist series, Julien Ash has pared things down, utilizing only four musicians to augment his own keyboards and effects; previous releases featured eight or more. This lends a very intimate atmosphere to the music, making it a kind of modern chamber music that really doesn't resemble anything else I've heard. Melancholy piano is accompanied by violin, acoustic guitar, piccolo bass, and occasional female vocals on 15 mostly low-key pieces. Electronic touches vary from subtle spice to pretty much nonexistent, leaving the players to their own devices at times, or drifting for periods of indistinct ambiance consisting of unidentifiable noise — though never harsh or grating. All in all it's very mellow and reflective, definitely more suited to Sunday morning than Saturday night, and don't even think of listening to it in your car or on the subway. So while there is nothing to get excited about here (as excitement is not the goal), there's plenty to enjoy if you're looking for some beautiful music that isn't cloying.
Related artist(s): Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites (NLC)
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more