Category Archives: Portraits

The Quiet Ones (Part One) – Tord Gustavsen

The jazz piano trio format contains a universe of possibilities. It took me a long time to appreciate that after years of seeking what I thought was more adventuresome music. Perhaps it’s a function of maturity, akin to growing into … Continue reading

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Tigran Hamasyan – An Ancient Observer

  One positive outcome of the changes affecting the music industry has been the increasing turn to more intimate and deeply connected live performances. And so a sold out house for Tigran Hamasyan’s solo performance at the Vancouver Academy of … Continue reading

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Es War Einmal – Once Upon a Time

We often go through life on unseen trajectories that begin with early life choices and end in happy, unexpected meetings in unexpected places much further down the road. Case in point: Hans-Joachim Roedelius (of Cluster, Harmonia fame) landed in the … Continue reading

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Ben Monder’s Power of Now

Ben Monder is a musician who reminds us how important it is to focus within, re-imagine time and bring discipline and lightness to what some would call the practice of playing an instrument. And despite the prevalence of technology in … Continue reading

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Anja Lechner & François Couturier

Munich-based cellist Anja Lechner and Paris-based pianist François Couterier are two musicians whose body of work has exemplified the diversity, delicacy and unapologetic beauty of the “ECM sound” over the past 20+ years . They have played with (among many … Continue reading

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loscil 2016

Scott Morgan (aka loscil) has a new release out on Kranky Records called Monument Builders. Somewhat darker in tone than past releases it bears all the hallmarks of a classic loscil release. I’ve written more about this on the VR … Continue reading

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Mats Eilertsen

If you came of age in the vinyl era you may have expanded your musical horizons by scanning the credits on record sleeves and booklets. You may have noticed that certain musicians, engineers and producers’ names kept coming up time … Continue reading

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New Cathedrals – Simin Tander and Tord Gustavsen

This past June, Coastal Jazz brought a very unique trio to town that defied my expectations to deliver one of the most sublime concerts of the year at Christ Church Cathedral. Tord Gustavsen has led a traditional piano trio for … Continue reading

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Seeing the Forest with Anat Fort

There was a time when I didn’t understand why anyone needed more than one or two great jazz piano trio recordings. But once I came to see the format as one of the most efficient and flexible configurations for revealing … Continue reading

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Time is a Blind Guide – Thomas Strønen

I first heard of Thomas Strønen via his work with Food on the Rune Grammofon label in 2004. The CD was called (wait for it!) Last Supper. Food’s core was always Thomas and saxophonist Iain Ballamy but each release expanded … Continue reading

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