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.
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more