“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.
Buy or stream the album here.
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.
Buy the album here
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.”
Release date: May 18. 2015
Get the album here!
“Enjoy this music with a Sunday morning cup of coffee, a late night whisky or, who knows, at Daybreak.”
Storyville Records presents “Daybreak” by the Icelandic saxophone player Sigurdur Flosasan and Danish Hammond B3 player Kjeld Lauritsen. The album is a follow-up to their previous success “Nightfall”. On both albums musicians embrace the ballad repertoire in collaboration with internationally renowned guitarist Jacob Fischer and swing drummer Kristian Leth.
Daybreak consists of beautiful jazz ballads with a Scandinavian sound, inspired by the unique feeling of when night turns into day. The music depicts the atmosphere of musicians playing together after a late night gig and the relaxed mood of the scene gives a special feeling that connects the people who are left. Sigurdur Flosason explains this feeling as:
“The morning’s music has nothing to prove. It simply is, neither old nor new, complex nor simple. In a way it is the core and the essence of all music.”
On this album the musicians has taken the idea even further, explicitly choosing songs such as “Morning Glory” and “The Night We Called it a Day” – songs that all relate to daybreak.
Get the album here: http://bit.ly/str-daybreak
A number of Storyville Records’ iconic jazz and blues albums are now available in a new series of remastered high quality vinyl releases. Featuring some of the best artists from the vast Storyville catalogue, the “Storyville Vinyl Remasters” series presents great music on deluxe vinyl.
Each release is limited edition, pressed onto 180 gram virgin vinyl with the original covers and sleeve notes preserved. Updated notes have been added to the inner sleeves and a free download of the album is included. The audio has been remastered specifically for vinyl to secure the best sound that these great releases deserve. Five releases in the series are now available:
An Evening With Big Bill Broonzy (Cat. # 6017001)
Big-voiced Big Bill Broonzy recorded this definitive album in Denmark, fully exploiting his sudden freedom to sing political songs that were frowned upon back in the US.
Magic Slim: Born On A Bad Sign (Cat. # 6017002)
This album made Magic Slim and The Teardrops famous. It was recorded live in 1976 in Ma Bea’s Club, Chicago, for the French MCM label run by Marcelle Morgantini.
The Blues Of Sonny Boy Williamson (Cat. # 6017003)
This album offers a rich example of Sonny Boy’s range of musical emotion, from rage through tenderness to sometimes unexpected humour.
Archie Shepp & The New York Contemporary Five (Cat. # 6017004)
This historic live album presented the “new thing” in jazz at the Jazzhus Montmartre in 1962.
Bud Powell Trio: Bouncing With Bud (Cat. # 6017005)
Bud Powell was a jazz pianist of rare talent, unique in his ability to inject vocal inflections into his improvisational playing. One of his performances were immortalized on this recording from Jazzhus Montmartre in 1962.
Here is a couple of videos from the Thomas Hass Trio’s and Beyond Lotus Energy cd release show at Politikens Boghal on the 22nd of September 2014.
Politikens Boghal, which is normally a bookstore, was transformed into a small cozy venue. A lot of jazz fans came, and the band played a set introducing the audience to the songs on the record and the new direction Thomas Hass takes with this project.
The sparse sound of Trio’s and Beyond focuses on clearheaded improvisations and strong melodies, as can be heard in these clips. Here is a blues, and some clips of the more representative stripped down arrangements of the compositions.
The band consists here of Thomas Hass (ts), Nikolaj Hess (e-piano), Lennart Ginman (b) and Frands Rifbjerg (dr). It is the two different trio constellations melted into one quartet for the show.
We should have one more video coming very soon.
Thomas Hass Trio’s and Beyond – Clark’s Heavenly Blues
Thomas Hass Trio’s and Beyond – 5 clip video from the release concert
Today at 5 pm at Politikens Boghal, Copenhagen, DK. Thomas Hass Trio’s and Beyond will be playing a release show and you can get your copy of Lotus Energy signed.
We will of course be there filming and interviewing Thomas Hass about his music which we will bring to you shortly on this blog.
Storyville is releasing the new album “Spirituals” on September 15th, featuring The Danish Radio Big Band.
In the video we visit the recording studio and hear conductor and arranger Vincent Nilsson and the band talk about the recording process and the songs on the album