Video: Monk in Berlin, 1969

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Forty-eight years ago this month, pianist Thelonious Monk appeared at the Berliner Jazztage festival, which when translated means Berlin Jazz Days and now is known as JazzFest Berlin. On solo piano, Monk played four Duke Ellington songs—Satin Doll, Sophisticated Lady, Caravan and Solitude followed by his Crepuscule With Nellie. Then on Blues for Duke, Monk was joined on piano by Joe Turner, Hans Rettenbacher on bass and Stu Martin on drums. Interestingly, Turner recorded for MPS soon after this concert (see my post here).

The concert was taped by German television. Camera close-ups give you an intimate look at Monk and his unusual fingering on the keyboard. If you’re not a fan of Monk’s music, you will be after you watch him on this video. Monk was a fascinating figure who created art on his own terms. Seeing Monk in action is often the best way to appreciate him.

Here’s the video…


Slide Remix

Happy to share this heavy future-bass dancefloor destroyer with you all today. I cooked this up for my homies Young Futura (hip hop / electronic duo) who you all should get familiar with! I posted the original version of Slide a while back, but this flip takes it into peak party time territory. A little something unexpected from the Captain Planet signature style, but you know how I like to keep everyone on their toes. It’s a free download, so snag it while it’s hot.

The post Slide Remix appeared first on Mixtape Riot.


Stream LTO and Edapollo’s Limited Hirola Cassette For Phantom Limb

It’s taken them a couple years to get there conceptually and sonically, but LTO and edapollo are finally ready to unveil their first Hirola record. Due out tomorrow through Phantom Limb—a new imprint from former high-level folks at FatCat (James Vella) and Royal Albert Hall (Mark Pearse)—the self-titled effort is described as “more expressive and human than straight computer music, much more obfuscate and abstract than pop music,” with traces of Thom Yorke, Boards of Canada, and Tim Hecker popping up at various points along the way.

Have an early listen below, along with some tour dates and a little commentary from the Bristol duo….

When writing and producing the record we took an open-minded and experimental collaborative approach. We wanted to explore, craft and create without limitation and to let the sound grow and evolve naturally. Throughout this time we were also faced with some challenging life changes and personal situations, which we were able to channel directly into the music, making this collection all the more meaningful to us both. We’re proud of the album and feel it acts as a honest prelude to the project. We are now looking forward playing the tracks live and continuing to push our musical boundaries, with more new music to come next year.

Hirola tour dates:
12/1 Brighton, UK – Pipeline
12/2 London, UK – Sebright Arms
12/13 Bristol, UK – The Crofters Rights

The post Stream LTO and Edapollo’s Limited Hirola Cassette For Phantom Limb appeared first on self-titled.


Snow Palms Channels Simon Fisher Turner on Icy New Track “Circling”

David Sheppard’s latest Snow Palms LP is far too restless to be filed straight into the “Ambient” section of your favorite record shop. Much like the mesmerizing work of Philip Glass, Origin and Echo is a master class in perpetual motion, propelling itself and us onto another plane of space and time.

Case in point: today’s #selftitledpremiere, which Sheppard describes in detail below. Look out for the rest of the record on Village Green tomorrow….

“Circling” was the last piece I wrote and recorded for the album. The title tells you something about the compositional approach, which is, essentially, orbital in nature. It started out as a simple keyboard figure that I was messing around with on my iPad, partly inspired by Simon Fisher Turner’s soundtrack for The Great White Silence; it had an instant wintry allure, somehow. After that, it just kept growing, with various additions on glockenspiel, metallophone, and reed organ picking out parts of the initial keyboard line that then fused and reshaped themselves into entirely new melodies—a process not unlike weaving variations of pattern in fabric using similar individual threads. Later, Mellotron flutes and finally tom toms, synths and processed guitar add bolder splashes of colour before the whole thing cools down again—the parachutes open and the orbit ends with a slow glide back to earth.

Snow Palms | Origin and Echo cover art

Snow Palms
Origin and Echo
(Village Green, November 17th)

1. Origin and Echo
2. Rite
3. White Shadows
4. You Are Here
5. Circling
6. Echo Return
7. Vostok
8. Enclave
9. Everything That Happened
10. Black Snow
11. Illuminations

The post Snow Palms Channels Simon Fisher Turner on Icy New Track “Circling” appeared first on self-titled.


Sailor & I

Sailor & I

From the Beastie Boys to Bill Evans, Swedish electro-pop artist Alexander Sjödin talks us through his all-time favourites.

What’s the first record you ever bought?

Beastie BoysPaul Boutique. When I was seven years old I watched the cool teenagers from my backyard when they drove by my house on their way to the skatepark. One day they stopped outside and asked me if I wanted to join them and my parents let them take me with them. They introduced me to hip-hop music and later that year this album came out and I forced my parents to buy it for me.

The first time you remember hearing electronic music?

Blade Runner. I had a broken VHS with that film stuck in the machine, so I watched it probably 100 times one summer. What I didn’t know back then was that that particular soundtrack and Vangelis would be a huge inspiration for me.

Your favourite ever record?

Impossible to say, but if I must pick one I would say Bill Evans‘ ‘Peace Piece’.

The guaranteed floor-filler?

Chelsea Wolfe – ‘The Warden (Maceo Plex Remix)’. I love this track. When I extend my live sets and turn it into a DJ set it’s hard to not play that track.

The best chillout record?

Luis Bacalov – ‘Il Postino (Titoli)’, the main theme from the Italian movie Il Postino. I cried the first time I heard it and I can recommend everyone to see the beautiful film too.

The best record for a family party?

Daft PunkDiscovery. We love that record and is always a good one for creating a happy atmosphere.

The soundtrack to a lazy Sunday afternoon?

Talk TalkSpirit of Eden. It’s probably one of my favourite albums. It’s the fourth album by the band, and the result of many hours of improved recordings.

The record you’re proudest of?

That’s a hard question. I never feel proud of my achievements. Once something is done it’s done and I move on to the next thing. If I have to say one track it’s probably ‘Tough Love’, as I would never have guessed that so many people with different musical backgrounds would be loving this song. Even now five years later it’s played in television shows, movies and on dance floors all over the world.
The deluxe edition of Sailor & I’s The Invention of Loneliness is out now, featuring remixes from Maceo Plex, Paul Woodford, Fur Coat and more. Find him on Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud.

Ones To Watch 2018 – #2 Jade Bird

Jade Bird first appeared on this blog back in 2016 before she’d even released a single, having come to my attention via a You Tube TEAFilms Live Session for a song called Madeline. She then impressed me when I caught her live at an early afternoon set at Brighton’s Great Escape playing to a room of mainly music industry representatives 2017. Then in summer there was the release of her debut EP Something American, which took the classic sounds of country, folk, americana and the delta-blues and framed them in the world of teenager in 2017 who has spent time in South Wales, Germany and Chesterfield.

Jade’s impressive vocal delivery, musicianship and talent hasn’t gone unnoticed. A few months later she was the recipient of the prestigious ANCHOR award at the Reeperbahn Festival International Music Festival. This award identifies the most promising emerging music talent from the festival’s program and serves as a label of excellence and guide for fans and music professionals alike and is described as a springboard into an international career.

More recently she took on the challenge of covering Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill for Radio 1’s piano sessions and came out victor (you can see the video of that below).

With bags of talent and a highly likeable chatty stage presence the only question with Jade is (as I’ve discussed before) where does her real audience lie? She’s very young but many of her songs are possibly a better fit for an older and possibly American audience, in the same way as say a band such as First Aid Kit are.

As we go into 2018 and Jade releases more material, maybe that question will become clearer, but whoever’s ears her music falls upon the chances are they’ll be charmed.

Jade Bird – Cathedral

Jade Bird – Running Up That Hill (Radio 1 Piano Session)


Björk Is Full of Love Again

You collaborated with Arca again on this album. Why do you think working together is so effective?

There was just such a musical connection between us. We were speaking in some kind of shorthand, sending each other songs, really on a high, seeing each other as a potential that we felt other people couldn’t see. It was like we could mirror each other. Overall, it’s the same amount of co-production as Vulnicura. What changed on this album is that Alejandro wrote more—I think I wrote 60 percent on my own, and he co-wrote 40 percent.

Maybe it’s some strange contradiction, because a few years ago, the lady that interviewed me for Pitchfork [Jessica Hopper] really encouraged me to speak up about female producers not being credited enough. And then I was talking a lot about that, and feeling more resolved, more healthy, more strong, and also more appreciated. People started asking me different kinds of questions after that. It really made a difference. I got more balanced and more confident, and I felt seen for what I can do. And then it was really exciting to meet this maybe once-in-a-lifetime person, where I could drop all my defenses and just play like kids.

To what degree was the process of making Utopia an extension of making Vulnicura? Did it feel like a continuation or an entirely new chapter?

It’s a bit of both, though more something different. “The Gate” is the bridge from one album to the other, in a way, even though I didn’t write that song first. The wound featured in almost every video for Vulnicura changed into a gate that you can love from. Then the rest of the songs are in a new place.

Vulnicura is so sad and heartbreaking. All the sounds are heavy—the beats are like rocks. There’s a lot of weight to it. It was really exciting to drop all those rocks off and suddenly be really free. You just lift off like an air balloon and float up to the sky. I started listening to completely different music, very euphoric, hyper, free music. I just needed that light so badly.

Looking back now, the melodies on Vulnicura are very sad, and there’s short spaces between the notes. It’s kind of paralyzed. The first song I wrote on this album, the opening song, “Arisen My Senses,” is the opposite. The melody’s like a constellation in the sky. It’s almost like an optimist rebellion against the normal narrative melody. There’s not one melody. It’s like five melodies. I really loved that.

The narrative on Vulnicura was so heavy, the story was so important and prominent, and the instruments and beats served that story. When we did the concerts, that became even more exaggerated. We did Carnegie Hall, and the whole room was sobbing. When we did the last gig, me and Alejandro went in the dressing room and had a few glasses of champagne. We were just like, “Oh my God, we’ve earned the lightness!” When I was writing Utopia and still singing the Vulnicura songs, I felt like I was having an affair from my own grief. Maybe that even exaggerated the contrast: You sing a really, really tragic song and you go home and you stand on your head and make a beat out of a ping-pong machine. Just go slapstick.

After finishing this album, do you feel you’re closer to the places you wanted to go when you first set out to make it?

Absolutely. Heartbreak is so weird—I wonder if physics can ever measure it, take a picture of it. I don’t know when humans first started writing stories, but they all talk about their heart being broken. Spiritually, it’s like daggers in your chest. It’s extreme. And I just stroke my chest now and it’s fine. It’s like I’m me again. It’s a really extreme, physical difference. And that was a big surprise to me.


Diana Panton: Solstice/Eqinox

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Yesterday, I finally worked my way through two stacks of incoming CDs that I had set aside for a listen. Among them was Diana Panton’s new Solstice/Equinox. What a lovely surprise. Panton is a Canadian singer with a breathy, hip innocence reminiscent of Blossom Dearie. She also has great taste in songs. On her new 13-track album, Panton takes on the four seasons, starting with the green surprise of spring and ending with the bright orange of a winter fireplace. It’s a clever approach that allows her to cover a wide range of music and moods.


On the album, Panton includes a clutch of familiar standards for those who want to hear something they recognize, including Estate, Manhattan, September in the Rain and Tis Autumn. All are handled beautifully. The bliss begins when she takes on more off-beat material, such as Lerner and Lowe’s The Heather on the Hill, Freddie Hubbard and Abby Lincoln’s Up Jumped Spring, Joe Sherman and George David Weiss’s That Sunday That Summer, Henri Salvador and Boris Vian’s La Fin Des Vacances, Sophie Makhno and Barbara’s Septembre, Marvin Fisher and Joe McCarthy Jr.’s Cloudy Morning, Patty McGovern’s I Like Snow and the Jo Stafford holiday chestnut By the Fireside. She sings the French songs in French.

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Panton’s voice is precious on each and every song. She’s also fortunate to have such a superb group behind her. Don Thompson plays piano, vibes and bass; Reg Schwager is on guitar; Phil Dwyer plays saxophones and Guido Basso is on flugelhorn and trumpet. But wait, here’s the best part: Thompson is so good and deep that he recreates the George Shearing Quintet’s sound on the intros to many of the songs. He must have recorded himself first on piano, adding the bass next and finally the vibes before Schwager recorded his guitar on top. Thompson and Schwager are so tight, you barely realize there isn’t a drummer on the album.

Calendar Girl 1

What makes Panton special is that she’s herself. You feel her relaxed, playfully personality throughout, and the quality of her voice is remarkable. And I love the Julie London Calendar Girl feel to the 12-month theme Panton chose and her seasonal photos in the liner notes. Solstice/Equinox is a perfect album for the weeks leading into the holidays and beyond. A voice that’s as gentle as a doe but smart as a fox. Brava!

JazzWax tracks: You’ll find Diana Panton’s Solstice/Equinox here.

The album also is available at Spotify.

JazzWax clip: Here’s September in the Rain

September in the Rain

For contrast, here’s the George Shearing Quintet’s version from 1949…


Provenance, by Björn Meyer

There is a distinguished tradition of solo bass albums on ECM, but Provenance is the first to be devoted to the electric bass guitar. Björn Meyer, Swedish-born and Swiss-based, has shaped a unique voice for his instrument inside the most diverse contexts, working alongside Persian harpist and singer Asita Hamidi, Swedish nyckelharpa player Johan Hedin, and Tunisian oud master Anouar Brahem.

For a decade he was a member of Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin, in which his bass guitar was frequently the lead instrument. His solo work is concerned with the experience of sound in acoustic spaces: “Even though the instrument is technically non-acoustic, the music is deeply influenced by the properties of the space where it is played. The many different ways in which acoustics affect my compositions and improvisations have always been sources of surprise and inspiration.

There is definitely a second member in this solo project – the room!” The participating room on Provenance is the highly responsive Auditorio Stello Molo RSI in Lugano, its rich acoustics helping to bring out all the fine detail in Meyer’s subtle playing.