Norwegian master bassist Arild Andersen s trio with big-toned tenorist Tommy Smith and powerhouse drummer Paolo Vinaccia is one of the most viscerally exciting jazz small groups of the present moment. Its energies are arguably best captured in a live context, and here the three musicians deliver a characteristically smoking performance at the Villa Rothstein in Bad Ischl, Austria, recorded in September 2016. Their earlier concert recording Live At Belleville, was issued a decade ago to rave reviews and a shower of awards. Absolutely and unreservedly marvellous said the BBC Music Magazine. How often do just three musicians produce music as vast and panoramic in its scale and vision? asked Jazzwise.
Norwegian bassist Andersen's reputation in Europe over the decades is well established. He has appeared on a number of significant recordings, most notably Jan Garbarek's SAGN, and with his own iconoclastic ensemble Masqualero. IF YOU LOOK FAR ENOUGH distills those past endeavors into a most atmospheric, spacious outing. The more traditional elements of Andersen's heritage meet face-to-face with a profoundly European free-jazz sensibility.
Bassist Arild Andersen's epic Nordic folk and jazz fusion, with Nana Vasconcelos on percussion, Kirsten Brеten Berg on vocal, munnharpe, langeleik, Bendik Hofseth on tenor and soprano saxophones and guests Bugge Wesseltoft (voice) and Paolo Vinaccia (percussion). It's austere, sparse beauty offers a haunting sound, and gives Braten Berg an perfect platform for her voice. The moods shift constantly from cool Nordic jazz to warm Brazilian rhythms, then overlaps them in something completely original and yet somehow welcoming and familiar. Recorded in 1993, this was his final recording for KKV before moving into the ECM stable.
Quand le temps s’étire, quand le paysage que l’on parcourt est sans fin, c’est en cet instant, ici même, que la sérénité approche et qu’elle s’offre à nous. Lorsque le futur et le passé se confondent, là où le Nord et le Sud ne sont plus qu’un, la paix sans doute se comprend et peut enfin s’affirmer. C’est ce que nous dit à sa manière la musique du guitariste Gérard Pansanel, qui pour son dernier enregistrement, Future Early Years (label Nord/Sud ; Coadex), a réuni comme à un point de maturité maîtrisée le contrebassiste Arild Andersen et le batteur Patrice Héral. Ces trois musiciens ont trouvé ici pour leur première rencontre une sorte d’équilibre, d’écoute réciproque et partagée, mais aussi d’attention aux choses du monde, à tous les univers possibles et imaginables. L’équilibre est parfait. A chaque instant, chaque mesure. Pansanel a beaucoup voyagé.
Sagn was the result of a commission for the 1990 Vossajazz festival that sealed the collaborative spirits of singer Kirsten Bråten Berg and bassist Arild Andersen. Blending folk songs from their native Norway, along with jazz and rock elements, the two shared the stage with percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, saxophonist Bendik Hofseth, pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, and guitarist Frode Alnæs. While we don’t have (so far as I’m aware) a live recording of what was surely an historic occasion, we do have this ECM studio rendition, buffed and polished to a mirror’s shine. Sagn is a massive effort, one of ECM’s fullest on a single disc, and stands as Andersen’s most personal statement to date.