AMN Reviews: Magma – Rïah Sahïltaahk (2014; Jazz Village)

61WQg2yP+mL._SX425_For almost a half-century, Magma has influenced dozens of bands (Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, etc.), spun off several others (Weidorje, Zao, etc.), invented their own language (Kobaian), and created a unique category of music (Zuehl). While they were not the first jazz/rock-oriented group to combine those influence with classical music, their remain one of most notable and idiosyncratic.

Count me amongst the few Magma fans who prefers the version of the band that emerged in the late 1990’s over that of the original, classic lineup on the early 1970’s. That said, if you’re still reading, this new EP is still well-worth your time and money.

Apparently, Magma’s leader, Christian Vander, was never satisfied with the original 21-minute arrangement of Rïah Sahïltaahk that appeared on 1971’s 1001 Degrees Centigrades. Thus, over 40 years later, he has set out to rectify the situation.

And the result? There are plenty of familiar passages throughout this 24-minute version. However, Vander has broken up the original single-track piece into seven separately-named tracks. Also gone are the horns of the 1971 recording, notably the distinctive bass clarinet of Yochk’o Seffer. In the place of the brass and woodwinds, we get guitar, vibraphone, and female vocals. All in all, not a bad tradeoff.

But when listened back-to-back, a few textual differences become apparent.  The 2014 version is tighter, less jarring, and not as abrupt or shrill.  This is probably due to the said lack of horns, as well as Klaus Blasquiz not taking part in the recording.  In the balance of Vander’s influences, Coltrane wins out over Wagner, despite omission of the saxes.

Also, due to modern technology, this EP has a cleaner, clearer mix than the original. Regardless, the soulful joy that is Magma at its best shines through into the digital era. One of the band’s better efforts of their modern incarnation.

DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET Photos

From DOWNTOWNMUSIC.NET:

November 22, 2014
Paul Giallorenzo’s GitGo, IBeam
Jeb Bishop Jeremy Cunningham Paul Giallorenzo Anton Hatwich Mars Williams

November 8, 2014
GIS Orchestra, Schl8hof, Wels
Sebastian Achleitner Pippa Buchanan Sigi Ecker Rainer Fehlinger Martin Flotzinger Edddi Friedl Andreas Fuchshuber Jakob Gnigler Gigi Gratt Alfred Grubbauer Elisabeth Harnik Richard Herbst Martin Hiptmair Tamara Imlinger Ali Isitmez David Kindlinger Tobi Mayer Fiona Pehn Stephan Roiss Georg Schwantner Christoph Stadler Elisabeth Zach

November 9, 2014
The Ex & Brass Unbound, Schl8hof, Wels
Ab Baars Arnold de Boer Katherina Bornefeld Mats Gustafsson Terrie Hessels Andy Moor Roy Paci Ken Vandermark Wolter Wierbos

November 9, 2014
Perch Hen Brock & Rain, Schl8hof, Wels
Ab Baars Ig Henneman Ingrid Laubrock Tom Rainey

November 9, 2014
Nina de Heney & Christine Abdelnour, Schl8hof, Wels
Christine Abdelnour Nina de Heney

November 9, 2014
Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit, Schl8hof, Wels
Mats Äleklint Ketil Gutvik Klaus Holm Thomas Johansson Lasse Marhaug Børre Mølstad Paal Nilssen-Love Jon Rune Strøm Christian Meaas Svendsen Kasper Værnes Andreas Wildhagen

New York’s Winter Jazzfest Lineup

Andrew Cyrille
Andrew Cyrille (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the Winter Jazzfest:

the 2015 NYC Winter Jazzfest
Thursday January 8th – Saturday January 10th
Amina Claudine Myers Trio
Anthony Pirog
David Murray Clarinet Summit w/ Don Byron, David Krakauer, and Hamiet Bluiett
David Murray Infinity Quartet with Saul Williams
David Murray w/ Geri Allen and Terri Lyne Carrington
Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas
ICP Orchestra
JD Allen Trio with Gregg August & Rudy Royston
Ken Vandermark & Nate Wooley
Kneebody + Daedelus
Kris Davis’ Infrasound
Michael Bates’ Northern Spy
Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls (The Charlie Parker Project)
Ryan Keberle & Catharsis
So Percussion feat. Man Forever
Travis Laplante’s Battle Trance
TRIO 3 (Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille) w/ special guest TBA
Uri Caine / Han Bennik Duo

New Clean Feed Releases

Peter Brötzmann at "Sonore" concert,...
Peter Brötzmann at “Sonore” concert, Lviv (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Clean Feed:

Peter Brotzmann / John Edwards / Steve Noble – Soulfood Available
Tony Malaby‘s Tubacello – Scorpion Eater
De Beren Gieren / Susana Santos Silva – The Detour Fish (Live in Ljubljana)
Zanussi 5 – Live in Coimbra
Velkro – Don’t Wait for the Revolution
Luís Lopes Lisbon Berlin Trio – The Line
Grünen – Pith and Twig
Friends and Neighbors – Hymn for a Hungry Nation

Loss Of A Quiet Giant: Will Connell 1938-2014

From All About Jazz:

I was heartily saddened by the sudden unexpected phone call: downtown’s unsung hero of Free Jazz, Will Connell, Jr., was hospitalized and non-responsive. Immediately the jazz and new music community rallied and the outpouring of love for Will was apparent. We’d all been preparing for his big moment at the front of the stage, his week-long residency at the Stone, set to occur in December. None of this made sense yet one day later, November 19, the hush of mourning closed out all else; the little giant was lost to us.