It's a damn shame that Leucocyte is the final studio album by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio. Svensson died in a tragic diving accident in June of 2008, shortly after this set was finished. More than any other recording issued by this excellent band, Leucocyte captures the art of music making at the moment of conception; it was recorded as live-in-the-studio improvisation over two days in an Australian studio. It was completely finished, post-production and all, with a release date before Svensson's death. The words "post-production" mean plenty when it comes to E.S.T.'s music. The trio often recorded and added sonic effects to their structured, composed pieces. It underscored their hip sophistication and accessibility. It made them a hit with both jazz fans and younger audiences who listen to Radiohead, Sigur Rós, and even heavy metal more than jazz.
Propaganda vocalist and latter day solo artist Claudia Brücken (A Secret Wish, Love: and a million other things…) teamed up in 1987 with electronic pioneer Thomas Leer (The Bridge, The Scale of Ten) to create Act: a one-off pop cabaret par excellence. Music so cutting edge, the sessions were documented by Tomorrow's World. And songs that crossed the chasm from mid-Eighties acts of sophistication to late-Eighties acts of dancefloor hedonism. Artwork includes previously unseen photographs of the duo by Patrick Lichfield.
Styx was one of the titans of the hugely popular AOR movement – along with Boston, Foreigner, Journey, and REO Speedwagon – embraced by the U.S. mainstream in the late '70s and early '80s. The end of the Chicago-based band's peak period coincided with one of the most ambitious and notorious projects of the time, the 1983 concept album Kilroy Was Here…
If you've ever heard the Berlin guitarist Arne Jansen, you'll know how difficult it is to forget his special sound. That passionate rummaging around in the warm diversity of the electric guitar, where bashful understatement mixes with playful sensuality. The humaneness become sound that always searches for what is special in the commonplace, exudes serenity and yet never itself comes to rest because its quest never ceases.
Finnish trumpeter/composer Verneri Pohjola comes from a well-established family of jazz musicians: both his father, famed bassist Pekka Pohjola, and his younger brother, trombonist Ilmari, join him here. Pohjola was voted Musician Of The Year by Finnish jazz critics in 2004, but Aurora is his debut as leader. This is a work of immense beauty which benefits not only from Pahjola's expressive trumpet playing and writing, but also from exceptional musicianship from every single one of its 15 players.
With the “Christmas With My Friends” concert recording a long-time dream come true for me.I have always wanted to perform these songs of joy, but in my own way and with good friends as company, being able to concentrate on the music without any boundaries. It is with great pride and happiness that I am presenting this Christmas concert to you. It is the Christmas I dreamed of as a kid and I kept on dreaming till I got the chance to fulfil it and now it ́s here, right in front of me and you. I am as happy as a kid on Christmas Eve when the gifts are handed out (yes, that ́s the way we do it in Sweden). The music on this recording is a choice of songs that I have come across during all the years of dreaming of making this project. ~ Nils Landgren
Thirty years after the death of Thelonious Monk, his music seems more of an enigmatic fortress than ever. Perched on the summit of a solitary peak its complex architecture swarms with lavish rooms, bone-dry staircases, unrestricted vistas and treacherous dungeons. The light-switches are halfway down the hall, the bath is in the middle of the bedroom, the toilets in the kitchen, and sometimes all the light-bulbs shine with a pale blue light, while dishes break on their own. Many have tried to live inside Monk's music, and all of them have felt the irregular narrowness of its walls, the continual slope of its flooring; you have to rely on an innate sense of balance and direction if you want to spend some time inside. And yet this is exactly the exploit which Pierrick Pédron has accomplished.