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Quiet Inlet CD

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 April 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: ECM
  • ASIN: B0038QGXI6
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,834 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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Digital Booklet: Quiet Inlet
Digital Booklet: Quiet Inlet
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Product Description

Product Description

Well established on the new improvisation scene, Food was founded originally as a quartet in 1998, but since 2006 it has worked as a core duo of Norwegian drummer Thomas Strønen and British saxophonist Iain Ballamy, joined each season by a shifting cast of guests. For this first ECM album those guests were Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær and Austrian guitarist/electronics player Christian Fennesz.

In the "augmented duo" concept of the current Food, the acoustic elements of the music, with drums, bells, blocks, gongs and lyrical saxophone, are enhanced by the use of live sampling. Molvaer and Fennesz were invited to engage with Food's forward-thinking approach to creating music - using sound, space and texture to create ever-changing atmospheres and environments. Fennesz is featured on three of the seven tracks, Molvær on four (his most extended appearance on ECM since 'Solid Ether').

'Quiet Inlet', recorded at various locations including the Molde Festival and Oslo's Blå club in 2007/8, and mixed at Oslo's Rainbow Studio, is Food's sixth album. Previous discs - on the Feral and Rune Grammofon labels - have received very positive press. Now their ECM debut takes the music to the next level. The album will appeal strongly to listeners who enjoyed recent ECM discs from Arve Henriksen (a member of Food for eight years) and Jon Hassell - it features improvisation in a "progressive ambient" mode, reflective and melodic.

Food are well-known in Britain. Winners of a BBC Radio 3 Innovation Award, last year they appeared with the London Sinfonietta, premiering Iain Ballamy's "Gold Acre". Ballamy was previously a member of Django Bates' Loose Tubes big band and Bill Bruford's Earthworks. Strønen has recorded for ECM with the group Parish (with Bobo Stenson). Fennesz came out of the Vienna techno scene of the 1980s and Molvær is one of the most influential present-day improvisers. His ECM discography includes Arild Andersen's band Masqualero, as well as the best-selling 'Khmer' and 'Solid Ether', whose mix of post-Miles trumpet, electronics and hiphop beats launched the so-called 'nu jazz' movement.

Personnel: Iain Ballamy (tenor & soprano saxophones), Thomas Strønen (drums, live electronics), Nils Petter Molvær (trumpet, electronics), Christian Fennesz (guitar, electronics)

BBC Review

Quiet Inlet is Food's second album as a duo after the departure of Arve Henriksen and Mats Eilertsen in 2004. The group is joined this time by trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær and noise/ambient guitar star Christian Fennesz. Together they've produced a sumptuous and strikingly original record.

Thomas Strønen's percussion conveys a strong sense of the exotic. His playing is characterised by a sense of Zen-like space, each moment focused upon as it unfolds. He's able to switch from powerhouse rhythmic drive to reflective precision in the flicker of an eyelid. Factor in his deployment of effects and post-processing and he becomes an exciting and thoroughly intriguing performer.

Tenor and soprano saxophonist Iain Ballamy initially seems a very different proposition. His work is highly melodic and grounded in mainstream jazz, but like Strønen there's a strong sense of reflection and concentrated participation. This is a duo that really listens to each other. Ballamy contributes a swooning, and at times breathtaking, sense of keening beauty. It's the contrast between the two players that makes the music such an intriguing success.

Both Chimaera and Cirrina feature enthralling duets between Ballamy and Molvær, the former dipping and arcing like a swallow in slow motion while Molvær traces mournful vapour trails in a deep blue sky. Mictyris begins in muscular agitation, like a bad dream sci-fi movie, but unexpectedly evaporates into melodic, wistful fragments. Final track Fathom features Fennesz's faraway vibrato guitar and subtle coloration.

Quiet Inlet reveals a technologised rhythmic approach distantly related to jungle and two-step as well as connections with 1970s Miles Davis recordings, such as Big Fun's Great Expectations and Recollections. Food's music is a magical hybrid of technology and improvisation, Europe and America, ambience and dance. --Colin Buttimer

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
On this, their first release for ECM, Food are pared down to a core duo of Iain Ballamy on saxophone and Thomas Strønen on percussion and electronics with Nils Petter Molvær providing trumpet on 4 of the 7 tracks and Christian Fennesz deploying guitar or electronics on the other three. On my first listen it was Molvær who really shone, his unique tone ghosting across the spare but atmospheric textures created by Strønen. Subsequent listens have revealed a tight-knit series of soundscapes which mesh to provide an extended tone poem to which all four highly skilled musicians contribute equally.

The percussion ranges from the deeply propulsive to the atmospheric and reflective, often within the space of a single composition as witnessed by third track "Mictyris" whose initial urgent syncopation settles down to a precise but restless rhythm echoing "Future Days"-era Can before almost disintegrating to an atmospheric and reflective whisper. Fourth track "Becalmed" is my favourite and features a circular breathy saxophone motif from which Strønen's electronics seem to radiate and shimmer. Molvær then takes over from Ballamy who in due course returns to the fray as he and Molvær circle round one another to beautiful results. The fifth track "Cirrina" derives its strength from the extended periods of near silence which dominate the beginning before the track gathers momentum, driven on by the almost militaristic beat.

In short "Quiet Inlet" is an atmospheric but focused recording with a distinctly Scandinavian feel, borne of the sense of space, which is reminiscent of both late period Miles Davis and Talk Talk. Exquisitely recorded and realised, "Quiet Inlet" is an excellent example of contemporary ensemble music in which the musicians listen to and play with one another with perfect empathy. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Anyone who likes Jan Garbarek and particularly "Rites" should also enjoy this album. It's got the same introspective and meditative quality of not only that album, but of much that now defines a compelling niche in Scandinavian jazz. I found Thomas Strønen's percussion particularly engaging although, as Jazzwise magazine says : it's an album that brings together elements of jazz, electronic, contemporary classical with a warmth and accessibility. I would give this album 4.5 if it was possible, but gave it 5 to boost its previous rating to thereabouts. Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Excellent unconventional and innovative jazz.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x93032d98) out of 5 stars 2 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x93dc1930) out of 5 stars Mysterious, Creative and a Must Have 18 Jan. 2011
By R.Cittern - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
If you stumble upon this album, don't pass it by. Food is composed of saxophonist Iain Ballamy and drummer/percussionist Thomas Strønen with Nils Petter Molvaer on trumpet and guitarist Christian Fennesz joining on a couple tracks. The music is always lush and vibrant with layers of percussion and electronics floating in the background. The combination of Ballamy's smokey dark sax playing and Stronen's intense beat heavy drumming make for an adventuous listen which sounds like a cross between Mark Isham and early Weather Report. The best thing is that even though this album is 46 mins, not a second is wasted and all the tracks stand up on their own. An album that can be spacey, beautiful, elegant and accessible yet completely original at the same time is hard to pull off, but this group nails it to a T. So try it, you just might like it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x94823918) out of 5 stars Five Stars 4 Nov. 2014
By Roberto Jiménez Bozada - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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