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March 30 , 2012

Reviews of the Week

The New York Times on the Billy Hart quartet's All Our Reasons

The new album couldn’t have been made by a group with less accumulated wisdom. Hart has recorded before on Mr. Eicher’s label, ECM, notably with the saxophonist Charles Lloyd. (One of those albums, “All My Relations,” provides some titular precedent.) With “All Our Reasons,” there’s clear potential for another sustained relationship, and a tantalizingly high bar to clear.
Nate Chinen, NY Times

Masabumi Kikuchi's Sunrise is hailed in American and German media

Kikuchi, Morgan and Motian may travel to strange and unusual places, where abstruse ideas gently skew on their sides and melodies are twisted beyond convention, but even at its most oblique, Sunrise reveals unexpected and unusual beauty—an equally appropriate description and ultimate homage for Motian, who never lived his life on anybody's terms but his own, with a resultant musical legacy that's all the more significant for it.
John Kelman, All About Jazz

Wie in extremer Zeitlupe nähert sich diese Musik. Feine, aber kantige Klavierklänge, die ganz langsam herbeischweben und immer wieder fast innehalten; dahinter ein leises Klappern und Flattern vom Schlagzeug, dessen freie Rhythmen sich sacht in die Luft auffächern – und dazu, als sollten sie unerwartete Erdenschwere herstellen, vereinzelte Töne vom Kontrabass, die schwer zu Boden zu fallen scheinen. So klingt es, wenn das Trio des Japaners Masabumi Kikuchi spielt. […] Keiner klingt wie Kikuchi, keiner inszeniert seine Musik so wie er. Ihm zuzuhören ist ein unvergleichliches Erlebnis. […]
Und die Musik dieser drei ungleichen und doch unendlich harmonischen Partner auf „Sunrise“ hat das Zeug zu einer Momentaufnahme von zeitlosem Reiz.
Roland Spiegel, BR-Klassik

„Sunrise“ is a work of incredible depth and intimate beauty, the musical equivalent of trying to describe the sunrise to a visual impaired individual whose heightened senses are still picking up more of the subtle nuances occurring around you than you are. Instead of paralysis through analysis pianist Kikuchi simply plays.
Brent Black, Criticaljazz.com

British daily The Observer on Garth Knox' Saltarello

The repertory swirls across the centuries: eloquent, pared down arrangements of Dowland and Purcell songs for viola d'amore and cello, and a complete Vivaldi concerto reduced to its bare outline rub shoulders with vigorous folk dances and a flowing transition from Hildegard of Bingen to Machaut 200 years later, all unified by Knox's clear-sighted vision and superb, earthy playing.
Nicholas Kenyon, The Observer