Live at Belleville CD
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Thrilling live album by Arild Andersen's new Norwegian/Scottish/Italian trio, the veteran bassist's most exciting group to date. Featuring tenorist Tommy Smith and drummer Paolo Vinaccia and embracing hot post-bop playing, strong compositions, fiery improvising, beautiful balladry and waves of atmospheric sound-painting, it was recorded live in Oslo's Belleville club.
Arild Andersen is of course an ECM musician of the first hour. He made his label debut in 1970 with the Jan Garbarek Quartet on the seminally important 'Afric Pepperbird' and on the ECM leader debuts of both Terje Rypdal and Bobo Stenson. In the 70's he also worked with a wide range of American musicians including Don Cherry, Sam Rivers, Stan Getz, Steve Kuhn and many others. He has been active in a wide range of contexts - exploring Norwegian folklore with the "Sagn" band, playing in an acoustic trio with Ralph Towner and Nana Vasconcelos, writing for the Cikada String Quartet on 'Hyperborean', leading or co-leading groups with Markus Stockhausen and Vassilis Tsabropoulos...the list goes on.
Apart from being a terrific bassist, one of Europe's very best, Andersen's ability to put together bands and bring out the best in his collaborators is legendary: (Jon Balke and Nils Petter Molvaer, for instance, both made their debuts with Andersen groups.)
Edinburgh-born saxophonist Tommy Smith, a wonderfully inventive player, first recorded for ECM at 18, as a member of Gary Burton's band on 'Whiz Kids' in 1986, then went on to record a series of albums for Blue Note, with star sidemen including John Scofield and Jack DeJohnette. He hosted the BBC Television series Jazz Types, began to write "classical" music, and launched the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. His many prizes include a British Jazz Award in 2002 as Best Tenor Saxophonist.
Paolo Vinaccia is an Italian jazz drummer who has lived in Norway for 30 years working with many major players in Scandinavian music including Arild Andersen, Terje Rypdal, Palle Mikkelborg, Nils Petter Molvær, Jon Christensen.
Arild Andersen - (double-bass, live electronics), Tommy Smith - (tenor saxophone), Paolo Vinaccia - (drums)
(4 stars) Andersen is rich toned...the trio unpick forceful modes, yearning ballads and gentle folk themes.
-- Financial Times, (Mike Hobart), November 22, 2008
(4 stars) Sublime...Outhouse features ferocious sax-trio freebop that brings to mind the legendary John Surman Trio of the early 1970s. -- The Guardian, (John Fordham), November 14, 2008
(4 stars) This is nothing short of a masterclass...vast and panoramic in its scale and vision...defines the art of the trio.
-- Jazzwise, (Duncan Heining), November 2008
(5 stars) My jazz album of the year...a trio that is brimming over with compelling ideas and creative invention. -- The Scotsman, (Kenny Mathieson), November 14, 2008
Top Customer Reviews
Best CD i have bought this year, i cant stop listening to it.
At times exhilarating, at times so relaxing i have warm feel all over.
Never dull and for jazz sceptics it is certainly not dinner jazz.
thanks jazzwise for a great tip.
This recording is superb! I only received it yesterday, so I have only listened on headphones and can't state that the concert atmosphere ambiance will duplicate as well on my 10-speaker rig. But musically there are no grounds for disappointment. Each member of the trio blends into a cohesive whole and the tonal balance is perfect!
The three remaining tracks are still well worth a listen but suffer slightly in comparison. The cover of Ellington's "Prelude to a Kiss" is tender, reminding me initially of Debussy's "Prelude de L'Apres Midi d'un Faune", and the concluding originals "Outhouse" and "Dreamhorse" restless and energetic in the first case and lovingly lyrical in the latter.
Overall, this is the ideal answer to anyone convinced that there is nowhere left for (predominantly) acoustic jazz, especially from a piano-less trio and a compelling listen for anyone with more than a passing interest in this area.