Matt Penman – Good Question

The Music

The Words

Modern jazz, with its emphasis on rhythm, above harmony or melody, has swiftly become one of my favourite and most sought-after subgenres of jazz music. I believe this was kickstarted in me by the amazing group Ikarus, which commonly uses various metres against one another to great effect. Today’s subject follows that train of thought on Good Question.

As a starting point, the first track starts off with what sounds like a \(\frac{13}{16}\) melody over \(\frac{13}{8}\) chords. While these two voices resolve every two measures, it’s interesting to hear and a bit jarring at … Read more

Peter Evans & Weasel Walter – Poisonous

The Music

The Words

Poisonous indeed, the newest release from free, avant-garde jazz duo Peter Evans & Weasel Walter is a journey into the delirious mind of a poison-afflicted would-be mycologist. In forty-four minutes, the two seasoned musicians craft an album obsessed with venenous fungi that sounds as lethal as its subject. I don’t know how many layers of improvised or forethought material have been arranged to create this fever dream, but the result is a dense hallucinative soundscape as heard through thick forest haze.

Some parts are almost metal in just how harsh and intense they are–see “Sulfur Tuft”. … Read more

Advanced Mathematics 4: Notes inégales

Whew, we’ve recently gone from a very new concept, microrhythms, to a fairly advanced discussion on polyrhythms, polymetres, and polytempo. I hope that this season of Advanced Mathematics is enriching to you! Today, we’re going to talk about notes inégales – uneven notes –, what kids today call “swing feel”. It goes much deeper than what you probably imagine, and I hope you’ll learn something today!


The Triplet Feel

Most prevalent in jazz and blues music, the swing feel usually involves altering the length of two consecutive and equal notes. The most common example of this is the … Read more

Haolin Munk – Planestasia Suite

The Music

The Words

Jazz and hip hop are two proximate worlds, but it’s a rare treat to see them interconnect. Fortunately, Ontario, Canada’s Haolin Munk quartet is here to settle the score. In what sounds like a softer version of Montréal’s New Apple Taste, without the noise and the rock, their science-fiction concept album – who else gets hints of Clipping.? – is an astonishing jazz fusion release filled with tasty grooves, decadent solo sections, and an overall spotless arrangement work.

Since the Haolin Munk quartet is an instrumental entity, each vocal track exists thanks to the help 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