Barry Cleveland: Micro Reviews of Four International Jazz Discs

February 11, 2012

Here are micro-reviews of four CDs by international artists that fall roughly into the "jazz" category.
I receive lots of really great CDs each week, and there's simply not enough time to write full reviews of them all in the magazine, or even online—so from time to time I try to cover a batch of them, limiting each review to 50 words as a way of focusing my attention and getting them done quickly.
As you can see, I really dig all of these discs, and I encourage you to seek them out and support the great artists responsible for them.
Grid Mesh

This improvisational German trio comprises guitarist Andreas Willers, drummer Rudi Fischerlehner, and saxophonist Frank Paul Schubert. Recorded live, the music on this adventurous disc ranges from subtle and enticingly melodic interactions to intriguing soundscapes to frenzied skronking—all while remaining impressively tasteful, inventive, and surprisingly coherent. FMR.
Arto Tuncboyaciyan & Kardes Türküler
Cocuk Hakli
On this spectacular world-fusion masterpiece, Turkish-Armenian percussionist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and composer Tuncboyaciyan leads a virtuosic, orchestra-sized ensemble that includes electric/classical guitarist Ubrahim Odak (and Cansun Kucukyurk playing E-bowed electric on one track), along with myriad other instrumentalists that should inspire adventurous and open-minded guitarists everywhere. Kalan.
Sidony Box
Pink Paradise

This French power trio—guitarist Manuel Adnot, alto saxophonist Elie Dalibert, and drummer Arthur Narcy—dishes up a very satisfying blend of avant-jazz, prog-tinged rock, and free-ish improvisation, with wonderful dynamics, brilliant instrumental interplay, lovely melodies, and highly engaging guitar work by Adnot. Jazz à Vienne.
Johan Berke
Nordic Scenes in Chromatic Blue

Leading a sextet that includes two saxophonists and second guitarist Håkan Goohde, Swedish jazz guitarist Berke imbues these lovely and deeply evocative compositions with great harmonic subtlety and sophistication. Beautiful guitar, sax, and ensemble playing enhance this truly excellent, ECM-flavored recording. Gason Jazz.



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