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November 11 , 2011

Reviews of the Week

In German Süddeutsche Zeitung, Karl Lippegaus describes Sinikka Langeland´s The Land That Is Not as "the perfect record for long winter evenings": "Die neue CD entstand wieder mit den fantastischen `Starflowers´, also mit Arve Henriksen, Trygve Seim, Anders Jormin und Markku Ounaskari. Typisch für den Sound der Gruppe ist der ätherische Klang der Kantele, einer 15 saitigen finnischen Tischharfe, die Sinikka Langeland selbst spielt. `Eine ursprüngliche Musik, verwurzelt in meiner Heimat´ - so lautete das Ziel, das sich die Norwegerin setzte, die sich bei ihrer Quellenforschung immer tiefer ins Dunkel der Zeiten vorwagte. Umso aufregender ist, wie sie und ihre Mitspieler diese Suche nun vertonten. Geheime Träume, raue Zärtlichkeit, sehnsüchtiges Verlangen wehen durch diese Musik aus dem hohen Norden Europas."

John Fordham praises Giovanna Pessi and Susanna K. Wallumød´s recording If Grief Could Wait in The Guardian: "Not quite a jazz album, this exquisite performance for voice, harp and period fiddles joins Susanna Wallumrød's light-touch singing and the evocative, interweaving lines and stately enunciation of Henry Purcell's 17th-century church and theatre music, some Wallumrød originals, two Leonard Cohen songs and Nick Drake's Which Will. It's a unique and audacious collaboration with baroque harpist Giovanna Pessi that has the makings of an unlikely cross-genre hit. Wallumrød's subtle delivery of contemporary lyrics such as "Who by barbiturate/ Who in these realms of love/ Who shall I say is calling" from Cohen's Who by Fire, or his chilling call-of-fate lines in You Know Who I Am, have an astonishing impact when set against the steady turns and rolls of Pessi's harp, Marco Ambrosini's keyed-fiddle nyckelharpa and Jane Achtman's viola de gamba. The latter has a cello's resonance at times, the harp a guitar's, and the quiet force of Wallumrød's personality within such a formal early-music structure is mesmerising."

The documentary Sounds And Silence continues to receive outstanding reviews. Geoff Andrew writes in Sight And Sound: "The film is not merely proof of Eicher´s refusal to accept the limits of generic `borders´ in music; it´s also a revealing study of what a sympathetic, imaginative producer can bring to a recording or concert. Eleni Karaindrou (...) tells us that Eicher´s passion always ensures he´s 100 per cent devoted to whichever artist he´s working with at any given time, and the film captures that splendidly as he works on a track with Nik Bärtsch´s `zen-funk´ band Ronin. Beautifully crafted in its own modest and impressionistic way (the road-movie sequences are even reminiscent of ECM´s distinctive cover art), Guyer and Wiedmer´s film impresses both as a revealing look at the processes of musical creativity and a portrait of one man´s abiding passion for the miracles that music, in all its diversity, may give rise to. Small wonder Godard has placed his trust in Eicher´s taste for the past two decades."

In The Independent on Sunday, Phil Johnson hails Keith Jarrett´s Rio: “The second of the two discs is a lyrical triumph to equal the Koln Concert, intense drama and emotional catharsis captured through long-haul, improvised performance.”
Mike Hobart in Financial Times writes: "The 15 solo piano improvisations that Keith Jarrett recorded in concert in Rio de Janeiro earlier this year fill two CDs with warm emotions, unerring logic and impeccable technique. Jarrett sustains his remarkable narrative drive from the bustling, somewhat portentous opener to the concluding ripples of a classical romance. In between, there are ballads and ruminations, rumbling infernos and warm-hearted dances – an optimistic waltz, a sedate bolero and a thoughtful boogie – each one a distinct entity with a story to tell.”