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November 4 , 2011

Reviews of the Week

In The Guardian, John Fordham hails Keith Jarrett´s new album Rio:"It takes a while to get over the shock of seeing an ECM Records sleeve as a riot of blazing yellows and reds rather than the usual mysterious monochrome. Then you listen to this solo-piano double album, recorded live only six months ago in Rio, and the outburst makes sense. (...) Warmer and less abstract than his still-remarkable 2006 Carnegie Hall solo show, a constantly changing (and totally improvised) soundscape of rocking African and Latin vamps, fragile love songs, guitar-like blues and sparingly deployed free jazz, Rio represents Jarrett at his most exuberant. Though the spurted, staccato figures and stamping chords of Part 1 suggest an edgy set, the romantic harmonies and gentle trills of Part 2 and its churning, funky successor take the music to more open ground. Wistful ballads give way to township-jazz stomps like early Abdullah Ibrahim, Latin groovers to Cecil Tayloresque free jazz, rocking rural blues, love songs full of internal conversations. For old Jarrett fans and prospective new ones, it's a must."

The Charles Lloyd Quartet with greek singer Maria Farantouri and lyra player Socratis Sinopoulos are presenting two exclusive concerts in Germany with their program Athens Concert. On this occasion Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung dedicated a full-page interview to saxophonist Charles Lloyd in the recent weekend edition.

Andrew Clements about Reto Bieri´s Contrechant in The Guardian: "Reto Bieri is a Swiss clarinettist, and this collection of contemporary solo works reveals him as a wonderfully controlled and subtle interpreter. As one might expect, none of the pieces is very long – most last about five minutes. Only Heinz Holliger's Contrechant, from 2007, whose six movements spun from a musical spelling of Baudelaire's name take just over 14 minutes, and Salvatore Sciarrino's Let Me Die Before I Wake, a 10-minute exploration of a whisper-quiet sound world of harmonics, multiphonics and tremolandos, become anything more substantial. Holliger contributes a second piece, Rechant, written a year later than Contrechant, which is more linear and melodic than its companion, though the virtuoso demands it makes are just as severe. The nearest to repertory works are Luciano Berio's beautifully shaped and coloured Lied, from 1983, and Elliott Carter's Gra, a gruff 80th-birthday tribute to Witold Lutosławski; Peter Eötvös's Derwischtanz and Gergely Vajda's Lightshadow Trembling are less striking, though Bieri's performances of them are equally fastidious."

John Kelman devotes in All About Jazz an extensive article to the documentary Sounds And Silence and concludes: "There may still be plenty we don´t know about Manfred Eicher, but through 87 minutes of Sounds And Silence its beauty and absolute verisimilitude begging for repeat watches - there's plenty to be affirmed, plenty to be learned, and plenty still left unanswered. And that's exactly as it should be."