First of all, it’s great to be back at Jazz In Europe. This month I’ve seen a number of great releases hit my desk. These albums have either recently been released or are due for release in the next week or two. Now that I’m back writing about jazz, I plan to do a series of short and to the point reviews each month in a series we’re call the “Review Round-up”.
For the series I’ll take a look at some of the releases that peaked my attention amongst the many new releases we receive for review. The first cab off the rank is pianist David Six’s opening to his new trilogy “Dance With The Ghosts”. Later this month I’ll take look at a new album set for release on Whirlwind recording by Sultan Stevenson titled “Faithful One”. I’ll give you my thoughts on a new album to come out of New York by drummer and composer Ilya Dynov titled “Bridges” and close out this months reviews with an album that particularly grabbed my attention from Saxophonist Nora Kam. So let’s get in to it.
Based in Vienna, pianist David Six recently released the first album in his new trilogy titled “Dance with the Ghosts”. This album recorded with a quartet while the following releases in the series, also scheduled for release in 2023, will feature a chamber-sextet with the final release consisting of compositions for soloists. This release features 9 compositions, all composed and arranged by Six. Joining him in the studio for the recording is Lukas König (drums), bassist, Beate Wiesinger and Mario Rom on trumpet.
David states that the main aim of this music is to address political issues with the language of instrumental music. All the compositions on the album are dedicated to special people or topics such an incredibly courageous Afghan woman activist, deforestation , the changing environmental landscape from our children’s perspective, European refugee politics and more. Now this brings me to an interesting point, with instrumental music, the thematic inspiration for a composition is quite difficult to bring across to the listener, especially in this day and age of short attention spans and the lack of detail available about an album on the streaming platforms.
For those that buy the CD version of the album, David has provided extensive liner notes that gives the background to each of the compositions and how he went about bringing this message over in his compositions. As mentioned above, for those that stream the music, they will no doubt miss the depth of explanation provided in the liner notes. For this reason alone I would urge you to part with the funds and by the CD. Of course a second reason, and perhaps even more important, is that this also supports the artist, something the I’m quite passionate about.
The music on this album is truly excellent in my opinion. Largely ethereal in style and had I not known who the artist was, I would have tagged the album as a Scandinavian release. So if your looking for a “kick ass – uptempo” neo bop album, then this is not the album for you. The opening track, “Chant (For My Daughters’ Friends)” does a great job in setting the scene for the rest of the album. I particularly liked the overall sound of the recording and specifically the performances by trumpeter Mario Rom add to the atmospheric soundscape the quartet have created.
The compositions are excellent and thematically consistent yet include more than enough variation to keep the listener engaged. The same can be said for David’s playing. While at times understated, I enjoyed the manner that he used to full range of sonic possibilities the piano provides including some pizzicato and other “prepared piano” effects. Bassist Beate Wiesinger provides us with a number of extremally melodic solo’s and Lukas König, while ever consistent in his support function shines on “The Limbo Of Forgotten Memories”, a short solo percussion piece.
Dance With The Ghosts Quartet, is a wonderful album and I highly recommend this. As I mentioned above, to truly do the album justice, I urge you to purchase the CD version, You wont be disappointed.
You can check out David’s “Dance With The Ghosts Quartet” below at Bandcamp.
New Release Spotify Playlist
The Jazz In Europe New Release playlist features tracks from the new releases featured on Jazz In Europe. Updated weekly, this playlist is the perfect place to discover new music from the leading jazz musicians currently on the scene. We hope you enjoy this selection.
Last modified: March 21, 2023