Thomas Clausen Francesco Cali-THE VOYAGE II Ole Matthiessen - FLASHBACKS & DEDICATIONS
Thomas Clausen Francesco Cali-THE VOYAGE
Release in Germany the 04 November 2016
Stunt Records STUCD 16032 New Arts International
Stunt Records CD
Thomas Clausen (piano), Francesco Cali (accordion)
Is it pure coincidence that Italian Francesco Calì and Danish Thomas Clausen have found each other? Hardly. Despite the unconventional line-up of accordion and piano, this collaboration between two musicians of melodic persuasion has grown and developed wonderfully and organically.
Francesco Calì was born and raised in Italy. He is a classically trained pianist and composer. He has lived in Copenhagen since 2003. He is aware that an artist’s personality is formed through assimilation of his roots, and Calì has blended various idioms into an original and personal sound. European, but also related to jazz, Brazil and Argentina … and naturally – Italy. He has also succeeded in lifting the accordion out of the realm of popular music and given it a deserved higher status.
The Danish pianist Thomas Clausen was born in 1949 and a graduate from the Royal Danish Conservatory. He is widely acknowledged as an outstanding and innovative pianist. He articulates with power and lucidity, his phrasing is remarkable as is his touch and timing. He too has incorporated influences from many sources. His musical playground includes classical music, South American music and of course jazz. In his younger years particularly, he performed with many jazz greats as well as Danish colleagues in classical and jazz ensembles and in his own groups.
It is a fact that jazz retains its vitality through meetings with other musical cultures. It is obvious that this duo acts and expresses itself through this paradigm, and Clausen’s short pieces in various moods find their inspiration in southern European folk music, Brazilian choros, tango, European harmonic concepts with an impressionistic lilt, and American jazz. Melancholic ballads and intense passion are held together by motifs that establish continuity throughout the pieces. In an
almost minimalistic format with improvisation as an important factor, Thomas Clausen has created small
Thomas and Francesco are not musical twins, yet these two extraordinary musicians with very different cultural backgrounds have merged in a wonderful
musical alliance with an ideal sound. A fascinating entity – emotional, melodic and creative. They have found a common path to timeless beauty, tranquility,
genuine warmth and poetry.
Ole Matthiessen - FLASHBACKS & DEDICATIONS
Stunt Records STUCD 16042 New Arts International
Release in Germany the 04 November 2016
This is Ole Matthiessen’s fourth Stunt release as a bandleader. As his previous Stunt releases, this album also has a general theme. PORTRAITS, POEMS AND PLACES (2008) presented ballads, PAST & PRESENT (2011) featured blues, and RED PYTHON comprised music inspired by the jazz standard tradition.
FLASHBACKS & DEDICATIONS is based on modal music and compositions and improvisations based on scales and colors. The music on FLASHBACKS & DEDICATIONS differs from other Scandinavian music that we usually categorize in that idiom these days. Ole Matthiessen’s music is rooted in the lucid Danish song tradition and the spiritual
areas in jazz while also focusing on fundamental jazz virtues such as interplay and coherence between composition and improvisation.
As on his previous releases the compositions are fuelled by personal and musical experiences. Small stories, portraits, poems and moods. Boiled down to the purest possible format, they leave space for individual interpretation while still retaining their individuality. As with his other releases, the compositions and arrangements can be downloaded and printed from the CD, where they are available as PDF files. Ole Matthiessen has gathered a handful of Denmark’s finest jazz musicians to help interpret and shape his music. Every one of them is a great storyteller: trumpeter Henrik Bolberg, American tenor saxophonist Bob Rockwell, who has been based in Denmark for the past 30 years, and bassist Jesper Lundgaard – a leader among the elite of Danish bassists for ages. All of them have received the prestigious Ben Webster Award. They have all played on Matthiessen’s previous releases and through the past six years formed the basis of his great group Past & Present. The drummer is this year’s Ben Webster Honorary Award winner, Ole Streenberg, who turned 70 in July. Matthiessen and Streenberg have played together in countless constellations dating back to the 1960’s with Pierre Dørge’s septet and Carsten Meinert’s quartet.
Everything Ole Matthiessen does is based on his deep devotion to jazz. He has played piano since 1963, and was inthe forefront until his work for the Danish Broadcasting Corporation took up most of his time. He has produced recordings with an endless list of Danish musicians and the Danish Radio Big Band as well as many international artists: Duke Ellington, Ben Webster, Sun Ra, Miles Davis and many others. He likes to introduce himself as a “jack of all trades of jazz”: pianist, composer, bandleader, record producer, music historian, music politician, author, critic, jazz DJ, lecturer, instructor, radio producer (DBC), producer for the Danish
Radio Big Band for 37 years, producer of talk and DJ programs, and active on Radio Jazz since 2007. One may often find him behind the counter at Jazz Cup, one of Copenhagen’s two surviving jazz CD and LP shops, where he willingly shares his enormous knowledge. And he leads his own groups and performs as a sideman in various settings ranging from swinging mainstream to spontaneous improvised free music.