Storyville Records has just released two albums with singer and guitarist Mette Juul – Change from 2019 and New York – Copenhagen from 2020.
“Change” was recorded partly in Juul’s own home and partly in New York and Sweden. With a focus on her voice and guitar, the music was captured live with the musicians in the studio. On “Change”, Juul creates a new space around her songs as well as music from Brazil and the United States.
Mette Juul is joined by an impressive line-up; bassist and cellist Lars Danielsson, guitarists Ulf Wakenius (SE), Gilad Hekselman (USA) and Per Møllehøj (DK) who emphasize Juul’s great joy with the guitar. Heine Hansen, who has been part of Juul’s career for many years, is the consistent pianist and is also heard on celeste, rhodes and harmonica.
“New York – Copenhagen” is the sequel to “Change”. The recordings are from the same period, and they capture the movement between New York’s pulsating, vibrating energy personified by Mike Moreno, and the Nordic calm and simplicity personified by Lars Danielsson and Ulf Wakenius.
The span between the two environments has been inspiring for Mette Juul. The interpretations of the 5 jazz melodies emerged live in the studio with the musicians in the studio.
“New York – Copenhagen” is based on songs like Kenny Wheeler and Norma Winstone’s For Jan, Jimmy Rowles’ and Norma Winstone’s The Peacocks and Leonard Bernstein’s Some Other Time.
Mette Juul is joined by guitarists Mike Moreno (US), Per Møllehøj (DK) and Ulf Wakenius (SE) and bassist Lars Danielsson (SE) New York – Copenhagen.
“Like lying down in a warm valley, feeling safe, surrounded by love, guidance, and still a sense of wonder, that is how I feel about this band “-Kira Martini
In the course of the past few years, Kira Martini, has become a strong and well-known character on the danish jazzscene. With her positive energy and frank ways; her warm, true voice; and a broad repertoire of different styles, she is unlike any other singer on the scene. Kira Martini is both a jazz singer and a songwriter, and up until now she has released 4 albums in total, with the 5th, entitled Warm Valley, ready for release. The album is a mix of great songs from the history of Jazz, but also draws on Folk and Bossa nova inspirations for its diverse expressions.
“I am so grateful for this collection of fine people. Each skilled musicians with heart and soul, that manage to bring their personalities into their playing. The combination of our very different backgrounds, ages, experience, musical references, and persons, brings a certain chemistry. Each time I get on stage with these guys, I feel I’m a part of something real special. I feel a flow of happiness, love and gratitude. I feel challenged, connected, playful, free, and above all, heard and understood.”
Throughout, Warm Valley is full of great musicianship, due to its experienced players. It’s the type of album that sounds laid back and easy going and yet very focused.
Known for her exuberant spirit and contagious optimism, it is only fitting that bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb has recorded a Christmas project to celebrate her 10th CD and first with Storyville Records.
“I wanted to assemble a program that creates a feeling of “hygge” and joy without being overly sweet or boring. I carefully selected songs from my childhood, songs reflecting long-standing friendships, and songs that are just fun and wintery. This is a soundtrack for tree trimming, lighting candles, and hanging out with those you love.”
On board for this project are Korb’s long-standing trio mates Magnus Hjorth, piano, and Snorre Kirk, drums. As a holiday bonus, the trio is joined by Mathias Heise on harmonica. The sound of Heise’s harmonica fits the voice beautifully and adds and extra sparkle to the entire project.
The Danish alto saxophonist Christina von Bülow has created a very special trio with two jazz masters in their own right: The Swedish bassist Palle Danielsson and the American drummer Eliot Zigmund. Together, they pick up standards from the great songbooks of jazz and make them their unique own creations; like birds singing, never quite repeating the same sound. The music is very inspired by Lee Konitz with a focus on improvisation, intuition and interplay. Quite a few of the tracks on the album is Christinas take on new themes for old standards.
Thomas Clausen, writer of the liner notes, explains: “The present CD is all about this element of variation. But also about being natural, playing melodically. And it’s an album about interplay! Every bar these musicians play breathe this truth. Some tunes are straight standards. And the presentation of the melody is sometimes straight, as we know it. But it is varied all the time and never feels repetitive.”
What makes the new album special is a feeling of a collective spirit throughout. Christina is the main soloist, but she is always giving herself time to breathe and making pauses in her solos and thus room for the other instruments.”
Green Moss Black sands explores the rough, overwhelming and stark beauty of Scandinavian nature and its dark sensibilities. The album is a collaboration between icelandic saxophonist Sigudur Flosason & swedish pianist Lars Jansson Trio. It is jazz with a special bluesy and folksy Nordic sound and a characteristic mix of grandeur and minimalism.
Icelandic beauty is the weather capable of changing in the blink of an eye; it is in the stillness and in the storm; in the rain falling at a slant, sometimes almost horizontally; in the sky that has colours you see nowhere else; green when visited by the Aurora Borealis. And then there is the ever present moon, there at the end of the world. This hushed yet ferocious type of beauty is explored on Green Moss Black Sand.
We’re very proud to present a never before released Duke Ellington solo piano session from 1972 and three bonus tracks from 1969.
The scene is 311 West 57 Street, New York, Mediasounds Studio A, Friday August 25th,1972. Duke Ellington was having an engagement with a smaller group at The Rainbow Grill, as he had had several times before, finishing the gig on the following night. But on the 25th, he chose also to go to the recording studio, just himself at the piano together with his two band singers Anita Moore and Tony Watkins, to record some pieces which were not played so often. The recordings remained in his ”stockpile” until now, this being the first commercial issue of these beautiful pieces. The late Sjef Hoefsmit wrote about the session when he heard it back in 1994: ”It is difficult to understand why these magnificent recordings never have been issued”. Well, here they are at last – for all to enjoy!
Check out this new video by Unseen Recordings in which Carsten Dahl talks about his sources of inspiration: The musicality in nature and the the combination of chaos and order that is the essence of jazz.
We’re happy to present two new jazz releases by coveted Danish artists Heine Hansen Trio & Carsten Dahl Trio!
Check them out below…
Heine Hansen Trio: Signature
Heine Hansen’s piano is playful, even bubbling and almost singing, like an early bird in the first days of spring. On his long awaited debut album, Hansen unfolds his signature sound on eleven new compositions of his own.
A signature is something so personal it can’t be replicated; Heine Hansen plays the piano with a unique sense for applying rhythm and melody. With Thomas Fonnesbæk on bass and Alex Riel on drums, a truly beautiful symbiosis of eloquent melodies and precise playfulness emerges like rays of sunshine finding their way through green leaves.
This spring, Heine was awarded the prestigious Ben Webster Award of 2016.
Carsten Dahl (piano), Lennart Ginman (bass) and Frands Rifbjerg (drums) have played together for more than 20 years now and yet every time they play together, it still sounds completely fresh and new. The combination of the three of them is somehow a magic golden cut in terms of swing, balance, dexterity and imagination.
Carsten Dahl says: “My dear mentor jazz pianist Ed Thigpen used to say that “you’ve got to be able to snap your finger to it” and I always try to keep that in mind. I try to discover the magic in space and the simplicity in the music: In rhythmical progressions and in lyrical melodies. All this is what this trio’s essence is all about and we sure did exactly that.”
Storyville Records is proud to present volume 20 in the Duke Ellington Treasury Shows series. In April 1945, to promote the sale of war bonds, the Treasury Department contacted Duke Ellington to do a series of 55 min public broadcasts. This double CD contains a series of recordings from Paramount Theatre and the famous Hurricane Club complete with radio speaks and encouragements to buy bonds + bonus material and extensive liner notes.
“Big bands were dying off like the dinosaurs, but Ellington transcended Swing and its era. Television was in its developmental stage and by the 1950s would supersede radio. Duke Ellington would outlive the reign of the medium that he so well mastered”, writes Ken Steiner, author of the extensive liner notes, and concludes: ”The band must have been saving its best for this broadcast, which finds them in top form”.
It is also worth noting that 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer and pianist William “Billy” Strayhorn. His contribution to the Ellington organization can hardly be overstated and is evident on this CD, which also serves as a tribute to his genius. Not just artistically was he influential —Ellington described Strayhorn as “the eyes in the back of his head”
CD 1 contains a radio broadcast from The Rehearsal Hall at Paramount Theatre, New York, June 1, 1946 plus bonus tracks from The Hurricane Club in New York, September 10, 1943.
CD 2 features a broadcast from WEEU Studios, Reading, P.A., June 8, 1946. The last tracks are again from The Hurricane Club but from September 7, 1943.
The whole Duke Ellington Treasury Shows series will be 24 double CDs. This release is volume 20 and the rest is on the way!
Storyville is presenting Composing. A new album by Jean-Michel Pilc, Mads Vinding og Marilyn Mazur.
JEAN-MICHEL PILC is a self-taught pianist, who has performed with numerous giants in the music field. He is born in Paris, but is now an American citizen. The Danish bass player MADS VINDING, has performed all over the world, produced records, written movie soundtracks and received several awards. MARILYN MAZUR, who was born in New York but has lived in Denmark since her early childhood, is active as a composer, a bandleader and as a percussionist. She has been a member of the orchestras of i.e. Miles Davis (1985-89), Wayne Shorter (1987) and Jan Garbarek (1991-2005).
Mads Vinding says about the album:
“Wayne Shorter once said “To hell with the rules, I’m going for the unknown”. This is what we did on this recording. No talks about tunes, keys, solos, tempos—as a matter of fact Jean-Michel and Marilyn hadn’t even played together before. We just started playing to see where the music would take us – and as you can hear it was quite a trip. We did two long sets and occasionally a tune would emerge – but most of the time we where in unchartered waters, taking us to places we haven’t been before. This is the ultimate way of improvising.
Why then is the album called COMPOSING? Well – Arnold Schoenberg also once said “Composing is improvisation slowed down”. This album is compositions in realtime.”