Pixel — Reminder
(Cuneiform Rune 342, 2012, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-04-01
This new Norwegian jazz quartet features drums, double bass, trumpet, tenor and soprano sax, and vocals. Bandleader Ellen Andrea Wang is the lead voice and double bass, and also responsible for all the compositions and lyrics. While they operate squarely in the jazz idiom, the lack piano or any other chordal instrument in the lineup often gives their sound a chamber quality, with the interplay between saxes and trumpet providing melodic coloration over the busier rhythm section. That said, the arrangements on some of these ten cuts tend toward the aggressive, and sometimes even approaches rock energy. The vocal passages, which are offered sparingly, make all the difference, and clearly add light, strength, variety and color to all the proceedings. One listen to a cut like "Wake Up," which encompasses all the strengths of this ensemble – and the vocals – will have the listener reaching for the repeat button in short order. There are pastoral instrumental cuts also, where their style of gentle improvisation gives every player room to stretch out and be heard, without any one dominating the show. All taken, Pixel offers an outstanding recipe that's unique, completely listenable, and compelling.
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more