Omar – *3

The Music

The Words

I’ve been anticipating a new release from French avant-garde jazz crew Omar for quite some time, since their previous album, *2 was released in January of 2015, and now, without so much a warning, the tourangeau quartet releases *3. After a quick album cover change – the original featuring another take on the “lobster phone” of their first, self-titled release – and a new bandcamp page – password forgotten, I presume? – Omar the Third is there for the world to see. Now, does it live up to the impossible expectations that countless listens of … Read more

Verneri Pohjola & Mika Kallio – Animal Image

The Music

The Words

Animal Image – or, by its Finnish name, Eläimen kuva – is, first and foremost, an animal documentary made by Perttu Saksa and Mouka Films. The picture is not what we’re here for today, however. Instead, we’ll be talking about trumpeter Ververi Pohjola and percussionist Mika Kallio‘s joint effort as the movie’s soundtrack. Given their role as audio support to a primarily visual documentary, Verneri and Mika had to be in a very special mindset. This unique frame of mind is one of the appealing aspects of Animal Image. The forty-minute album is all … Read more

Eave – Eave

The Music

The Words

Montréal’s Eave is a surprising new minimalistic free jazz quartet. They just delivered their self-titled debut album, and it’s a thing of wonders! Eave is strong by its meekness. It isn’t overtly boastful, and is of the discreet type. However, the reserved are often the most incongruous. As such, Eave paint the most disturbing scenes using very few and pale colours. It is free jazz done differently than what I’m used to. With bands like dMu, Nakata, or Waifu, I’m used to the horrid, the loud, and the terrifying; Eave brings me the calm, the odd, … Read more

John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble – All Can Work

The Music

The Words

Twenty-one. That’s how many people play in this so-called “large ensemble”. This jazz orchestra is noticeable in many regards, but the most important of which is their musical output. All Can Work came out on January 26, and it represents over an hour of amazingly well put together modern jazz compositions that often remind me of some of the best prog rock out there. I’ve got to say this might be due to Theo Bleckmann’s voice, which is perhaps the most reassuring thing in this quite avant-garde environment. While the aim of the work here is … Read more

Kami Octet – Spring Party

The Music

The Words

We truly are well treated in this early 2018. So much great music has been knocking on my eardrums that it’s difficult to keep track. Although a late 2017 release, France’s Kami Octet, an avant-garde jazz eight-member ensemble, and their album Spring Party, was only just now heard by yours truly. The release is an adventurous and thorough experiment on contemporary jazz, sharing similarities with Fire! Orchestra and other such modern artists like Jaimie Branch. I’ve noticed the former mainly due to the vocal eccentricities of Christine Bertocchi, who at times recall moments of … Read more