Saturday, April 30, 2011

Free jazz and poetry

Thursday night I heard Alan Wilkinson (saxophones), Kim Johannesen (guitar), Ola Høyer (bass) and Dag Knedal Andersen (drums) at the Landmark club in Bergen. This was my first meeting ever (my fault!) with veteran sax player Alan Wilkinson,  who blew up  a storm together with the three young Norwegians (seen quite often at the same club). They played a set full of energy, and to be quite honest with you, it was just great!
Let me also mention that the band has recorded material (from a UK tour) they want to release.

I bought a vinyl album with Wilkinson and Talibam! "Dem ol´Apple Pie Melodies" (Bo´Weavil 2010), where it is written on the cover that you hear in Wilkinson´s tone "the strength and grit of a fine british pint served cool and fresh"! You wonder if I want some more?

After the blow out from  Wilkinson & co,  the headliners (?) Nude On Sand entered the stage (eh, OK, the floor).  Nude On Sand is Jenny Hval (aka Rockettothesky) (vocal, guitar) and Håvard Volden (guitar). They did some very quiet guitar improvisations and poetry singing (!), and I feel it was a bit unfair to place them in a kind of a vacuum after the quite noisy jazz quartet. I wish Nude On Sand had played first this evening, it would have suited my concentration abilities at least.
Nude On Sand´s first album will be released this autumn, and my guess is that listening through head phones or on home stereo will be the right thing for this music.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Richard Thompson on KCRW

Richard Thompson sings "I misunderstood" from "Rumor and Sigh" (1991) on KCRW.
And not only that, you may watch the whole visit here!

Let me just remind the guilty ones, that it´s close to three years since  Richard Thompson visited Bergen. He did a fantastic  solo concert here in May 2008.
It´s about time for another visit, if you ask me. Come  alone, bring a bass player, bring a full band, morris dancers, cricket videos, whatever!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Time Jungle Backstage

Students at the University of Stavanger (Television and multimedia production) have made a  live video with Gunhild Seim and Time Jungle (and some interviews in Norwegian). The band is Gunhild Seim (trumpet), Arild Hoem (saxophone), John Lilja (bass) and Dag Magnus Narvesen (drums).
Check out this old blog post, where I recommend the albums "Time Jungle" (2007) and "Morpho" (2009) (but chamber jazz, it´s not, is it?). Nice band!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


editioninversif uploaded a video for the song "Unmasked", taken from Robert Wyatt´s 5-track EP "A short break" (Voiceprint 1992). On four of the tracks Wyatt sings without words, using his voice like an instrument, but "Unmasked" is the beautiful song you may hear here!
All singing and all instruments by Robert Wyatt on this record.

"A short break" may be hard to get,  but you may download from  emusic.
Cover made by Alfreda Benge and Peter Hartl.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Andy Summers

Most people in Norway read crime and thrillers during Easter (yes, it´s tradition), but I chose Andy Summers´ biography "One train later" (Piatkus 2006).
I don´t mind The Police, but the reason I finally got around to reading this book, is that  Andy Summers was in Soft Machine in 1968, touring with them in USA. Kevin Ayers was not too happy with the new man, he might have felt that Summers was a part in pulling the band away from pop and into more experimental territory, and he finally had to go. Summers wonders if one of the reasons could be that he was a far better musician than Ayers, but after some years everything was OK again, and Summers joined Kevin Ayers´ band.

Andy Summers met  Robert Wyatt and Soft Machine in Paris in November 1967, at a big happening called La Fenetre Rose. Summers describes Soft Machine like this: "The Soft Machine takes the stage. Mike Ratledge pushes his arm into the keyboard to make a large rainbow-colored dissonance and they crash into their set with Robert Wyatt´s soulful vocals arching over the angular harmonies".

This is a good read, both when it comes to Andy Summers´ early stages as a musician in bands like Zoot Money´s Big Roll Band and Dantalion´s Chariot, the jet set life with The Police and trying to be a family man and at the same time doing some hard partying.
Some more dates and years, and a bit more on the fellow musicians, would have made this book even better.

I´m happy to read that the author seems to have  a big heart for  Kevin Coyne, even if he could probably wear out his musicians with his behavior and heavy drinking (that everyone was expected to join in on!).

I only own Andy Summers´ duo albums with Robert Fripp: "I advance masked" (1982) and "Bewitched" (1984) (even if Summers lists them as solo albums, wonder what Fripp would say!?).
At least, I bet all of you will enjoy the video posted below!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Late Easter Festival

the NOW now 2010 - ZEIT KUNST 6 from Sam James on Vimeo.

Fred Frith and Ryan Gregory Tallman @ The Kitsch Gallery, SF, 03.09.11 from Ryan Gregory Tallman on Vimeo.

I don´t know how things are at your place, but here in Norway we are still celebrating Easter! But since it´s the last day today, let´s have a mini festival.

The Silencers with Benoit Delbecq, Kim Myhr, Nils Ostendorf and Toma Gouband are opening the festival. Here they seem to be playing with dried grasses, but in Bergen they used fresh rhododendron.  You will find more from this March 2011 performance on YouTube if you want to.

Kim Myhr is at it again in the video with  Michel Doneda, Mathias Muche, Clayton Thomas, Sven Hahne and Clare Cooper, recorded in 2010.  I heard some of the same people play in Bergen.

Let´s hear it for Fred Frith live and alone, recorded in France (?) a couple of days ago (part two here), and with Ryan Gregory Tallmann on theremin, from San Fransisco (March 2011).

Mostly Other People Do The Killing are the last ones out, with a new video. I´m looking forward to hear these guys at Moldejazz this summer!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Kaboom Karavan

Kaboom Karavan is a Belgian project (or band?) led by Bram Boostels. They have only made an EP, before this new and fantastic release called "Barra Barra" on Miasmah (2011). As usual it is hard to describe or brand the music on this label, but try to imagine some ambient stuff and some organic improv, mixed with found sounds from instruments at work in a big hall. You get it? Atmospheric, spooky, beautiful and evocative, words I have reached for before in this blog, to describe albums that may end up as soundtracks to days going by.

I see that Miasmah points towards Bohren & Der Club of Gore, but on my wall they may just as well end up on the shelf beside Mural and Koboku Senju, released on Sofa.

Get it from shops like Tiger and Boomkat, or download from eMusic.

Blond Blue

Nils Økland and Sigbjørn Apeland play "Blond blå", earlier this year I presume. Nice Easter music?
"Blond Blå" is on Nils Økland´s "Bris" (Rune Grammofon 2004), and don´t forget "Lysøen - Hommage à Ole Bull" (ECM 2011).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Polite Force

We have a new Canterbury site on the net, made in Norway too!
Check out  The Polite Force. A few blog posts are posted, and soon even the chat, the forums and the album club may be cooking!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet +1 touring

The great Chicago Tentet are touring these days, and stopped for three days at Café Oto in London. Let´s have three videos from London, right here!
The musicians: Peter Brötzmann (Reeds), Joe McPhee (Pocket Trumpet/Reeds), Mats Gustafsson (Reeds), Ken Vandermark (Reeds), Paal Nilssen-Love (Drums/Percussion), Fred Lonberg-Holm (Cello), Per Åke Holmlander (Tuba), Johannes Andreas Bauer (Trombone), Michael Zerang (Drums/Percussion), Kent Kessler (Bass), Jeb Bishop (Trombone).

A film on Peter Brötzmann, named "Rage", also seems to be on it´s way.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Resonance Ensemble

The Resonance Ensemble just released the album "Kafka in flight" on Not Two.
They offer you three long Ken Vandermark compositions, each of them (the Vandermark way) dedicated to another artist (Yutaka Takanashi, Don Ellis and Chris Marker).
The music? A strange and nice mix of hot big band style and free jazz. The tracks seem to follow the same scheme, they open with a groove, takes off in free form and the troops are gathered again in the end. The groovy (old hippie talk this?) parts are so hot, that I just want them to keep going, but OK, let´s have the free stuff too, even if I consider them separate compositions here.
Ah come on, you get the point, you just have to check this one out yourselves!

I like the way Vandermark dedicates his compositions to other artists. Not that the connections between persons and music are obvious, but at least it makes me read about new artists. A good thing!

The ones playing on "Kafka in flight" (copied from Not Two):
Magnus Broo - trumpet (Stockholm)
Michael Zerang - drums (Chicago)
Ken Vandermark - tenor saxophone, Bb clarinet (Chicago)
Mikolaj Trzaska - alto saxophone, bass clarinet (Gdansk)
Mark Tokar - bass (Kiev)
Steve Swell - trombone (New York)
Dave Rempis - alto & tenor saxophones (Chicago)
Per-Âke Holmlander - tuba (Stockholm)
Tim Daisy - drums (Chicago)
Waclaw Zimpel - Bb & bass clarinet, taragato (Warsaw)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Bullion: "Canterbury Mix"

Bullion - Canterbury Mix by Toast Press

I found this fantastic Canterbury mix by producer Bullion, with Robert Wyatt, Caravan, Gong, Kevin Ayers and others, over at Pitchfork. Interviews and music mixed.
You don't have to be old to smile after this one!

Added 29 April:
You may find a list of all the tracks over at  "I like music".

Monday, April 18, 2011

Record Store Day Bergen, 16 April 2011

The independent record stores celebrate themselves once a year. I join the celebration, even if some people raise their voices now, and say good riddance to the physical format!
In my home town Bergen, only two stores get special editions to sell on Record Store Day.

The pictures:
1 - 2: of Montreal/Casiokids split 7" (Splendour).
3 - 4: James Yorkstone 10" (Domino). Reading from this one.
5: Josh T. Pearson 12" (Mute).
6: Apollon record store, Bergen.
7: Esben and the Witch 12" (Matador).
8: Mute sampler (LP + CD).
9: Franz Ferdinand covers E. P. (Domino).

And here are all the special releases sold this day.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

On the Edge of Wrong 2011

On the Edge of Wrong is a festival for exploratory music in Cape Town (South Africa). The festival is six years old, and for the second time in history, a sister festival is held in Oslo (Norway) (last one in 2008). If you happen to be in Oslo 4 - 7 May, you know where to go.

The motto seems to be "Fire walk with me", and the musicians are mostly Norwegian an South African. I have heard only a couple of them, guitar player Morten Minothi Kristiansen and singer Stine Janvin Motland (both of them worth checking out!), but we did visit last year´s festival in Cape Town!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lysøen - Hommage à Ole Bull

One of Norway´s biggest "pop stars" ever, Ole Bull (1810 - 1880), is celebrated by Nils Økland (violin and Hardanger fiddle) and Sigbjørn Apeland (piano and harmonium) on "Lysøen - Hommage à Ole Bull" (ECM 2011). Here they play Ole Bull´s compositions (like "Sæterjentens søndag", "La Mélancolie") and some of the folk music he was inspired by (like "Stusle sundagskvelden", "Eg ser deg utfor gluggjen"), in their own way, improvising a great deal. Økland and Apeland also throw in some of their own pieces, fitting nicely. Listen to "Belg og slag", a killer tune, where Økland is beating the strings with the bow, not moving his left hand on the neck of the violin at all, and Apeland adds colour playing the harmonium.

This is warm and beautiful music, and just as sad as it has to be. It´s hard to believe that the musicians recorded this, dressed in winter clothes at a freezing cold Lysøen, Ole Bull´s home outside Bergen, using Bull´s old instruments too.
And I would love to hear some of you pronounce the Norwegian titles here! How about "Stusle sundagskvelden" ("Dismal Sunday Evening") for a starter?

It is also hard to believe, that I attended the release concert for this album at Lysøen, together with 25 - 30 other people on Thursday evening! We were brought there by a small boat (properly named "Ole Bull") and heard Sigbjørn Apeland and Nils Økland play this material in Ole Bull´s home. As they do on the album, they played some tunes on Ole Bull´s own harmonium and his Gunneri del Gesù violin from 1734 too. The record is great, and the concert was magic!
I must admit I felt like being among the chosen few this evening.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Robert Wyatt Stencil

Stewy invited  Robert Wyatt to sit at at café table in Hackney (London).
Visit the street artist on Flickr, and remember Snurre´s stencil too.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sacred Harp

I'm not sure if the band Sacred Harp is named after a form of sacred choral music from the southern parts of USA, but I would not be surprised! Sacred Harp's album "Window's a fall" (Trust Me Records, 2011) is so varied, exciting and hard to pin down, that it would be as fitting (or ill fitting) in The Southern United States, as anywhere else.
How about a mixture of beautiful floating pop, some post punk, a bit of droning and some bombastic guitar rock? Even in the same song!
No? Well, I did not fall for this album, as quickly as I did with vocalist Jessica Sligter's solo project (Hubro, 2010), but I have played it over and over again, and I think I like it!
Check it out yourselves! I'm quite sure that prog and Canterbury fans will like it too.

The band is: Jessica Sligter, Juhani Silvola, Øystein Skar and Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød.
Cover by Judith Van der Velden .

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Maverick eccentrics

Since Antony Hegarty and Robert Wyatt are called "maverick eccentrics" by Irish Independent, we celebrate with a new Antony video ("Swanlights"), and some "Wyatt links". Maverick eccentrics or fine vocalists? I know what I will call them.
(The video might bee seen on Antony´s site, if removed from YouTube).

- Mr. E recommended "Mr and Mrs song"! The Guardian 7 April 2011.

- The Unthanks. It's afamily affair.Galway Advertiser 7 April 2011.

- Nile Rodgers. Your music is your soul. The Guardian 8 April 2011.

- Unthank you for the music. Irish Independent April 9 2011.

Monday, April 11, 2011

PUNKT 2011

David Sylvian is going to be artist in residence at the Punkt festival in Kristiansand (Norway) 1 - 3 September!
There will be an audiovusual installation ("Uncommon Deities"), a live performance of "Plight and Premonition", and concerts curated by Sylvian. Artists mentioned: Arve Henriksen, Philip Jeck, Jan Bang, Evan Parker, Koboku Senju, Sidsel Endresen and more!

Expect more from this festival in the blog. My pictures from PUNKT 2010 are posted on Flickr.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Wach Auf!

Be prepared, and look to Norway! The revolution might finally happen!
Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje and the boys of POING, Frode Haltli, Rolf-Erik Nystrøm and Håkon Thelin, are all on the people´s side, releasing a flaming red album and doing concerts around the 1st of May.
On the album "Wach Auf!" (Øra 2011) we will hear improvisations and radical arrangements of revolutionary songs like "Solidaritätslied" and "Kanonensang", and the uproar will follow this route: Trondheim (28/4), Inderøy (29/4), Oslo (30/4) and Bergen will fall into the hands of the revolutionaries on the very 1st of May!
Ask yourselves if you are on the right side, now!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

James Yorkston

I don't remember where or by who, but somebody must have recommended the Scottish folk singer James Yorkston´s book "It´s lovely to be here. The touring diaries of a Scottish gent" (Domino 2011). At least I bought it. The title is descriptive, since this is a diary written by a touring musician. The book is full of dry wit, and I would guess, straight to the point, peppered with pretty lousy black & white photos of hotel backyards.Glorious? I think not!

Yorkston tells it all, giving us stories about being support act, hunting for vegan food, driving far too long to the next concert, suffering fear of flying (I can relate to that!), drinking good and bad whisk(e)y, meeting local organizers and enjoying (?) after show bar visits.  I liked the repeating stories (especially the bar visits) and the short prose, giving the reader a kind of touring feeling.
Yorkston visited a freezing cold Oslo too, but seems to have only good memories from the Norwegian capital. He even seems amused that we may buy adult-sized romper suits!? Don´t you all wear them?
This is a great read! I might even  check James Yorkston´s music!

"I go backstage and read some Chekov - who's incredibly easy to read and not high brow at all - he´s almost the Cilla Black of Russsian literature - no, that´s way off the mark - the Dusty Springfield - Billie Holiday, even".

Cover illustrations by Clare Beaton.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Mostly Other People Visit Moldejazz

Molde International Jazz Festival have so far announced artists like John McLaughlin, Arild Andersen, Stian Westerhus with lots of friends, Dave Holland as "Artist in residence", Lee Konitz and Supersilent with John Paul Jones for this summer´s festival.

People seem to be quite happy with this lot, but so far Mostly Other People Do The Killing are not big in Norway, and seem to have gone below the radar of most journalists writing about the festival. I think this will change after the festival season!
MOPDTK is Peter Evans (tp), Jon Irabagon (sax), Moppa Elliott (b) and Kevin Shea (dr). They play post-bop, party style, or something thereabout. Check out their Køln Cons.., oh no "The Coimbra Concert" (Clean Feed, 2011). It is very, very good!

And nodding towards other artists´ record covers, like Keith Jarret´s "The Köln Concert" on this album, is something they did on earlier albums too. Read more about it, in a better blog post, over at  "Burning Ambulance".

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Neneh Cherry & The Thing

Some combination! Neneh Cherry & The Thing, live in Stocholm April 2011.
Something going on? Album?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A forced (?) collection of Wyatt links

Pitchfork March 16th: Moondog reminds Daniel Smith from Danielson of Robert Wyatt (and Smith is a huge Wyatt fan!).
CMU March 25th: Robert Wyatt is one of Mira from Ladytron´s favourite musicians.
Financial Times April 1: "Jazz from another planet". Wyatt describes Afrobeat to Eno. Cited in a piece on Seun Kuti.
Liverpool Echo April 1: Adrian McNally from The Unthanks admires Robert Wyatt.
The Guardian April 5th : Ric Phethean, the singer of Tall Ships, has Canterbury qualities, even if he doesn´t sing as high as Robert Wyatt or as deep as Kevin Ayers! So they claim!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Last Hurrah!!

Drone guitar? At least that´s what the Bergen based artist and producer HP Gundersen calls his guitar, after tuning it like Stephen Stills did on "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes".
Hey, I am only citing other people here, blame them if I´m wrong. It´s supposed to be tuned like ddddad - according to Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen.

Anyway, Rune Grammofon released The Last Hurrah!!: "Spiritual non-believers", where HP Gundersen plays his drone music.
This is definitively not the Sunn O))) type of droning, but more like country-folk! Bergen artists are well known for their knowledge and skills in the fields of country and folk, and HP Gundersen is a fan of guitar player Rune Walle (also from Bergen), who played in Flying Norwegians and even Ozark Mountain Daredevils in the old days.
One of Walle´s first bands was  Oriental Sunshine, and The Last Hurrah!! cover their hippie tune "Mother Nature" from 1969 (the original here). The two other songs on the album are the long and strange "The Ballad of Billy and Lilly" (makes me want to play Bob Dylan´s "The ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest") and the party tune "Melodi Grand Prix 63"!
I will tell you a secret, "Melodi Grand Prix" is what we call the Eurovision Song Contest over here.

I admit that the talk of drone guitar - country style, sounded a bit ridiculous before I heard the music, but I was wrong. Cool album!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Crimson and Waits by The Unthanks

Here you have The Unthanks live (30 March 2011), singing King Crimson´s "Starless" and Tom Waits´ "Nobody knows I´m gone".
Both songs are also to be found on the beautiful Unthanks album "Last".

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Huntsville live and on record

I have tried to say something smart about Huntsville once before in the blog, and failed. This time, I will not try.
They played at Bergen Jazz Forum earlier this week, being a bit monotonous and repeating themselves, but I´ll be damned if they did not get to us still, with their suggestive music. Live I really enjoyed drummer  Ingar Zach´s whisking, being the engine of this fragile train, running along with Ivar Grydeland (guitar) and Tonny Kluften (bass).

Check out their new album "For flowers, cars and merry wars" on Hubro (2011). Sidsel Endresen sang on one track on "Eco, arches & era" (Rune 2008), here Hanne Hukkelberg is singing on (a small part of)  the almost nineteen minute long title track.
But what is this? The working class only get twenty six seconds on "For the working class"! How ungrateful is that?

And what a beauty the limited edition white vinyl and CD is!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Motörhead Shiraz

I really thought Motörhead was more your standard vodka and juice band, but they have got their own brand of red wine now! Motörhead Shiraz is a "smooth and rich wine with concentrated fruit bouquet and lovely berry flavours" (cited from the bottle).

You  may also drink it with a certain attitude.
I know next to nothing about wines, and have to warn you about the stuff,  but I think I prefer more metal in mine, as in Wongraven´s.

Do you know other rockers who sell wine?