Sunday, July 31, 2011

Joe McPhee and Ken Vandermark

Joe McPhee and Ken Vandermark at The Stone (NYC) in March 2011 (YouTube).

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Oslo street art

I was walking around Oslo yesterday afternoon, looking for street art. Here are some shots from the  Grünerløkka area.
The grapes of wrath (?), a C215 portrait and a quite new one from Cloudfather (at MIR).

See more portraits by C215, stencils and graffiti from Oslo.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Old folks with cans

We have had some disussion on straight street art and sellout in Norway recently, but these old folks of Trondheim (Norway) are my kind of street artists!

More pictures from Trondheim on Flickr.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Unthanks + Wyatt + Antony

The live album with The Unthanks doing songs by Robert Wyatt and Antony & The Johnsons is scheduled for release later this year! We have mentioned the project several times, see one of them here.

Over at The Unthanks we steal this info:

"It was December 2010 that The Unthanks staged a concert that was at once both a slice of fun and probably their most daunting project yet. Over two sold out nights at the Union Chapel, London, their exploration of music by Antony & The Johnsons and Robert Wyatt was an irreverent joy, making The Independent’s Gigs of the Year list. Those London shows are captured on a live album which will be available later this year, and to mark the release, The Unthanks will take their Robert/Antony show on a short tour of UK and Ireland dates, previously only seen in London".

Monday, July 25, 2011

Soft Machine - Live in Brussels, 1971

Soft Machine recorded 15 January 1971, for RTBF.
The Band:
Mike Ratledge - Keyboards
Elton Dean - Alto Sax, Saxello
Hugh Hopper - Bass
Robert Wyatt - Drums
More info on  YouTube.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Images from Moldejazz 2011

Moldejazz 2011 is over.

- Festival artist Gjertrud Hals in the gallery Kunstnersentret Møre og Romsdal.
- Michael Duch and Kjetil Møster did some fantastic solo concerts at the venue Reknes.
- Supersilent is Supersilent, even with John Paul Jones in the band.
- Michael Duch spoke about his thesis on free improvisation at the Festival Academy.
- Magnus Broo, Paal Nilssen-Love and Tyshawn Sorey played some hot improvised music at Forum. One trumpet and two drummers, one of them Sorey, who did some cleaning and drinking as part of his playing too.
- Tyshawn Sorey was at it again with John Escreet Trio for an afternoon concert Friday, with Escreet (p) and Eivind Opsvik (b). What a powerful trio! And Sorey was at it again, I was almost impaled by a drum stick. The first row might not be the best place with him on stage.
- Dave Holland talked at the Festival Academy, and did five concerts as Artist in Residence. I attended a fine solo concert and the final concert of the festival in the Molde Church with Thimar. Dave Holland (b), John Surman (soprano, bass clarinet) and Anouar Brahem (oud) dedicated their music to the victims of the terrible killings in Oslo and on the Utøya island the previous day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sad days in Norway

Bombs in Oslo, and 80 (or more) young kids murdered in cold blood.
More in NYT and NPR.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Eldbjørg Raknes marathon

Eldbjørg Raknes received a prize (Norwegian link)  dedicated to the memory of the great singer Radka Toneff  at Moldejazz tuesday, and Thursday she did a six hours long concert at the gallery Kunstnersenteret Møre og Romsdal, where she has worked with festival artist Gjertrud Hals.

I visited twice during the day, and Eldbjørg Raknes really made some beautiful music with voice and samples, sitting in a quite naked (except for light installations in the roof) room in the basement.

Even if I prefer short concerts, leaving me wanting more, this is my second marathon this year! At Borealis in Bergen they kept it going for 12 hours with Avgarde Extreme, but they were three musicians and Eldbjørg Raknes was all alone, so let's call it a draw.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

SPUNK with Joëlle Lëandre

Wednesday evening SPUNK and Joëlle Léandre invited to an improv party at the Molde Jazz Festival.
They started with an open and free set together, then Léandre had a fantastic solo set, where she talked and sang a story with the bass, SPUNK did a beautiful piece (yes beautiful improv is possible) and finally they all went into an energetic finale.
The audience more than happy, encore (video) and standing ovation - what a night!

The fine musicians of Spunk are: Kristin Andersen (tp), Lene Grenager (cello), Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (voc, misc) and Hild Sofie Tafjord (horn, misc).

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Stian Westerhus and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra

The Molde Jazz Festival started Monday, and Stian Westerhus and  Trondheim Jazz Orchestra must have played one of this festival´s  greatest concerts on this very first day.
The venue was very hot and very humid, and they had standing room only, but most of us managed (OK, my back hurts) because the music, the decorations and the lights were fantastic!
We got beautiful strings (Kvernberg, Skaslien, Duch), contemporary, metal, noise and quite a lot of prog, all in an elegant package.
The band was behind some kind of fish net all the time, and the roof was covered with balloons, adding extra value to the lights. I cant say I like strobe lights, but here it was all right.
The sound was also close to perfect, and every instrument shone, both in the quiet parts and in the noisy ones.  Check out a YouTube video to get some idea of what was happening, if you can take some mediocre sound and filming that is.

And what a bunch of great people we heard on that stage!

Maja Ratkje - vocal/electronics
Mats Gustafsson -- sax
Kjetil Møster -- sax
Hild Sofie Tafjord - horn/electronics
Erik Johannesen -- trombone
Bjørnar Habbestad - flute/electronics
Ola Kvernberg - violin/viola
Bergmund Waal Skaslien -- viola
Michael Duch -- bass
Øystein Moen -- keyb
Kenneth Kapstad -- drums
Stian Westerhus -- guitar
Kyrre Heldal Karlsen -- lights
Tor Breivik -- sound
Producer: Eirik Hegdal

Oh, and I have to admit, I longed for those balloons to fall down, but hey never did!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Poppy Seed Affair

Collectors of Robert Wyatt, please note the new release on Reel Recordings, G.F. Fitz-Gerald & Lol Coxhill (featuring Ian Hinchcliffe): "The Poppy Seed Affair" (2011).

I haven't studied this package yet, but you get two CDs and one DVD. Lol Coxhill made the soundtrack for the film on the DVD, and he used recordings of Archie Legget and Robert Wyatt, meant for Lady Lune (1972/1973). Wyatt  is doing "drums, chicken clucks". A must have I guess, and only 500 copies made.

Moldejazz 2011

One day left, and I'm ready for Moldejazz 2011! I hope to see Supersilent with John Paul Jones, Stian Westerhus with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Kjetil Møster and Michael Duch, Dave Holland, Spunk and Joelle Léandre, Magnus Broo with Paal Nilssen-Love and Tyshawn Sorey and Dans Les Arbres (and lots more!). This will be one good week!

I hope for some wild tweeting over at #Moldejazz and suggest that the festival upload their own quality videos on their YouTube channel.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Berne, Black and Cline: The Veil

I will try to keep the blog running, but don´t expect daily postings the next couple of weeks. The record of today´s post will get you through the summer anyway!

Jazz, rock, jazz rock, power trio and improv with some noise elements, recorded live at The Stone in New York i 2009, is what you get on  "The Veil" (Cryptogramophone 2011) with Tim Berne (sax), Jim Black (dr) and Nels Cline (g).
That´s all you have to know really, check it out!
OK, OK, here you have a couple of reviews in AllAboutJazz and Memory Select.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pelbo at Kongsberg Jazz Festival

Next week Moldejazz is happening, but today´s blog post is a video from  the Kongsberg Jazz Festival last week, and the band Pelbo swinging. Ine Hoem(voc), Kristoffer Lo (tuba) and Trond Bersu (drums).
Check out their 2010  album!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Robert and Alfie on DominoRadio

I have  posted this before, but Domino just uploaded the DominoRadio program with Robert Waytt and Alfreda Benge on Mixcloud. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Arve Henriksen

Arve Henriksen recently received the Norwegian DnB NOR prize (300.000 NOK) and the Paul Acket Award.
Here he is being interviewed, and does a short improvisation on piccolo trumpet, on Radio6 (NL).

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Argus portraits

Street artist Argus made a beautiful portrait gallery at Danmarksplass in Bergen.
He has been walking his dog too.

Friday, July 8, 2011

News from the world of economics

The Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen (only paper version, 8 July) interviewed the chief economist of DNB NOR, Norway´s largest financial services group, Øystein Dørum, and asked him what he would want the newspaper to spend a full page on. His answer (my translation): "I would have asked the journalist to write a portrait of Robert Wyatt. R-O-B-E-R-T W-Y-A-T-T".

One of the journalists of this paper (Geir Rakvaag) has written lots of stuff on Wyatt, so we might get a full page again soon!

The final question Dørum gets, is "Who would you prefer to be stuck in an elevator with?". His answer is not Robert Wyatt this time, but Bert Jansch. The guy has got good taste in music!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Wyatt as reference in the world of painting

I once started to collect articles where Robert Wyatt was used as a reference to describe other artists´ music (mostly new artists), but he was suddenly all over the place, and I gave in. Let´s just be satisfied by the fact that Robert Wyatt is a fixed point in the history of music, that may be used by journalists and other crooks (read: bloggers, twitterers and others) to describe or classify other musicians (just or unjust for Wyatt or the others!).

When Robert Wyatt was mentioned in a piece on the recently deceased painter Cy Twombly (1928 - 2011), I found it too good to just leave it! In an article in Spanish La Vanguardia (7 July 2011) called "Abstracto y literario. Cy Twombly (1928 - 2011). El Penúltimo maestro del expresionismo norteamericano", it is written: "Su obra pictórica oscila entre el balbuceo casi blanco y el incendio cromático, entre el estado carencial y la afirmación apasionada. En esto se parece a la música de Robert Wyatt".

You Spanish speaking people may smile at this wonderfully written (I hope!) description, the rest of us have to stick to Google Translate: "His paintings range from almost white babble and fire color, between the iron deficiency and passionate affirmation. In this it resembles the music of Robert Wyatt". I think I get it!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Beatles on cell biology books

I admit that I think it´s pretty smart to mix a bit of humor into serious business.
A bunch of cell biologists seem to agree, since they have a The Beatles theme on the back sides of their books.
See the authors of the fifth and fourth edition of "Molecular biology of the cell" and the second and third edition of "Essential cell biology" do their versions of the album covers of "Revolver", "Sgt. Pepper´s Lonely Hearts Club Band", "Meet The Beatles!" and "Help!".

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Raincoats: Odyshape

Good news over at Pitchfork: The Raincoats will release a remastered version of their album "Odyshape" (Rough Trade, 1981).
Robert Wyatt is drumming on the track "And then it´s O.K.".

Monday, July 4, 2011

Arbe Garbe & Eugene Chadbourne

Italian Arbe Garbe brought Eugene Chadbourne along for the Fabrik Free Festival (Milano) 18 June 2011. Must have been some party!
Chadbourne is playing on the band's album "The great prova" (2010).

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Richard Thompson: "Live at the BBC"

"Wall of death", "When the spell is broken", "Down where the drunkards roll", "Valerie", "Shoot out the lights" and a bunch of other fantastic songs, some of them more than once, acoustic or electric, with band or with Linda Thompson, all on three CDs and one DVD on Richard Thompson´s new release "Live at the BBC" (UMC 2011). The music was recorded from 1973 to 2009 and the videos were made 1975 - 1985. All in all you get 80 tracks, and most of them are released here for the first time.
Yes, you have to get this one!

If Thompson´s studio albums are necessary, make sure you check out his live albums too. They are sold through BeesWeb, and if you visit you will probably see Richard Thompson sporting some incredibly elegant clothes, having just been named Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)!

Another good box set: "RT. The life and music of Richard Thompson" (Free Reed 2006)!

Richard Thompson´s only Norwegian concert this summer is his solo concert at the Down On The Farm festival.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Rune Grammofon summer sale

If you do not own all of Rune Grammofon´s records, you might want to check their catalogue this summer. Here is what they say:
"Most of the CD titles in the catalogue are now on sale, many of them with a 50% deduction, down to NOK 59.00. This might be your best opportunity ever to fill some spaces in your collection. One of several items is the "Money Will Ruin Everything 2" book/2CD, which is a true bargain at only NOK 99,00".

The next three Rune releases will be:
Humcrush with Sidsel Endresen - Ha! - CD
Hedvig Mollestad Trio - First Chapter - CD/LP
Alog - Phinger - CD/LP

Ungdomskulen´s Gimme Ten (US003, 2011)

Ungdomskulen - Elle from Blank Blank on Vimeo.

Ungdomskulen – Walking the Dog from Blank Blank on Vimeo.

Bergen´s own prog-indie trio Ungdomskulen (Kristian Stockhaus, Øyvind Solheim, Frode Kvinge Flatland) go wild with 10 tracks on one 7", and 10 videos to follow!