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Magic Moments 7

Various Artists

Magic Moments 7

Price: € 22.95
Format: CD
Label: ACT music
UPC: 0614427959522
Catnr: ACT 9595
Release date: 28 November 2014
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Label
ACT music
UPC
0614427959522
Catalogue number
ACT 9595
Release date
28 November 2014
Album
Artist(s)
Composer(s)
EN
DE

About the album

Magic Moments: 16 tracks, over 50 participants, 70 minutes of the best jazz-infotainment consisting the current Act-offer
Magic Moments: 16 Titel, über 50 Mitwirkende, 70 Minuten bestes Jazz-Infotainment durch das aktuelle ACT- Angebot.
Kontinuität. Vertrauen und Visionen. Nachhaltigkeit und Zusammenhalt. Talente entdecken und reifen lassen. Den Nachwuchs fördern. Erfolgskomponenten und zentrale Bestandteile der ACT-Philosophie, die unsere Arbeit seit nunmehr 22 Jahren leiten: Wir feiern in diesem Jahr die seit 20 Jahren andauernde erfolgreiche Partnerschaft mit Nils Landgren. Wir gratulieren aufstrebenden Künstlern wie Vincent Peirani und Emile Parisien, die mit dem „Victoire du Jazz“ jeweils zum Künstler des Jahres in Frankreich gewählt wurden. Wir freuen uns über die großartige Entwicklung von Michael Wollny zum deutschen Jazzmusiker der Stunde, der der Young German Jazz-Reihe entstammt und die auch weiterhin Talentschmiede für verheißungsvolle Künstlerpersönlichkeiten, wie aktuell der Sänger Tobias Christl, sein soll. Dass nun auch etablierte Jazzgrößen wie Manu Katché, den wir als Neuzugang herzlich in unserer ACT- Family begrüßen, auf unsere Arbeit aufmerksam werden, ehrt uns. Trotzdem bleiben wir uns treu, vor allem die Stars von morgen zu finden.

Artist(s)

Lars Danielsson

Swedish bassist, cellist, composer and arranger Lars Danielsson is well-know and admired throughout the International jazz scene for his lyrical playing and strong groove. Born in 1958, he is a musician with particularly broad interests. At the conservatory in Gothenburg he had studied classical cello, before changing to bass and to jazz. As a bassist he has a uniquely rounded sound, which is as lyrical as powerful. The 'Lars Danielsson Quartet' with former Miles Davis saxophonist David Liebman, pianist Bobo Stenson and legendary ECM drummer Jon Christensen has received a lot of recognition and numerous awards during the 18 years of its existence. Danielsson has released ten solo-albums since 1980 with his quartet and guests such as Alex Acuña and John Abercrombie....
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Swedish bassist, cellist, composer and arranger Lars Danielsson is well-know and admired throughout the International jazz scene for his lyrical playing and strong groove. Born in 1958, he is a musician with particularly broad interests. At the conservatory in Gothenburg he had studied classical cello, before changing to bass and to jazz. As a bassist he has a uniquely rounded sound, which is as lyrical as powerful.

The "Lars Danielsson Quartet" with former Miles Davis saxophonist David Liebman, pianist Bobo Stenson and legendary ECM drummer Jon Christensen has received a lot of recognition and numerous awards during the 18 years of its existence. Danielsson has released ten solo-albums since 1980 with his quartet and guests such as Alex Acuña and John Abercrombie. The Quartet has been a testing ground for Danielsson’s work as a composer and arranger, which has extended over the last years to include both - symphony orchestra and big band music. He has worked with Denmark’s Radio Concert Orchestra as well as the JazzBaltica Ensemble as a composer, arranger and producer.

Lars Danielsson has worked with: Randy and Michael Brecker, John Scofield, Jack DeJohnette, Mike Stern, Billy Hart, Charles Lloyd, Terri Lyne Carrington and Dave Kikoski. He has also been a member of the "Trilok Gurtu Group".

As a producer, Lars Danielsson worked with Cæcilie Norby, Jonas Johansen, the Danish Radio Concert Orchestra and Viktoria Tolstoy.

In 2007, he received a commission for a piece with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestrafeaturing himself as a soloist together with Leszek Moždžer. He has also received a commission from the NDR Big Band and Wolfgang Haffner to write a piece for the JazzBaltica Festival 2007. Furthermore, he has been working with the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with Vytas Sondeckis and Bugge Wesseltoft.

His 2008 album “Pasodoble” was a huge success. Jazzwise UK wrote about Danielsson’s collaboration with Polish pianist Leszek Moždžer: “A clarity of thought and execution rarely encountered in jazz.”

“Pasodoble” was followed by another collaboration with Leszek Moždžer on the 2009 album “Tarantella”. Once more the album caused enthusiastic reactions by Jazzwise: “Easily Danielsson’s finest album to date, it also numbers among the finest albums in the ACT catalogue.”

On his most recent album “Liberetto”, Lars Daniellson teams up with Armenian piano shooting Star “Tigran”, e.s.t. drummer Magnus Öström guitarist John Paricelli and Trumpeter Arve Henriksen to discovers new musical spaces and the freedom of music between chamber jazz, classic and European folk music.


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Youn Sun Nah

YSN is well regarded for her remarkable vocal prowess. The Korean jazz vocalist’s ability to present each song in her own unique style filled with emotion and passion has consistently captured her audience in attentive silence, ending with roaring appreciation. The songstress traverse the vocal spectrum effortlessly to the extent where she’s not just another vocalist, she’s a musical instrument. In 2005, French magazine “Le Monde” described her as “a UFO touching the universe of jazz with a magnificent voice and passionate originality”. Growing up in a musical family where her father was a conductor and her mother a musical actress, music has always been in her life. YSN eventually began her own musical journey and made her first debut at the tender age of...
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YSN is well regarded for her remarkable vocal prowess. The Korean jazz vocalist’s ability to present each song in her own unique style filled with emotion and passion has consistently captured her audience in attentive silence, ending with roaring appreciation. The songstress traverse the vocal spectrum effortlessly to the extent where she’s not just another vocalist, she’s a musical instrument.
In 2005, French magazine “Le Monde” described her as “a UFO touching the universe of jazz with a magnificent voice and passionate originality”.

Growing up in a musical family where her father was a conductor and her mother a musical actress, music has always been in her life. YSN eventually began her own musical journey and made her first debut at the tender age of 23 at a joint concert collaborating with the Korean Symphony Orchestra. The performance was her stepping-stone into the Korean music scene.

Though YSN was making waves in the Korean music scene, she decided to move to Paris in 1995 to study jazz and chanson. Striving for only the best, she enrolled herself into the CIM Jazz School, one of the oldest jazz schools in Europe. She also studied at the National Music Institute of Beauvais as well as the Nadia and Lili Boulanger Conservatory.

At the turn of the millennium, she founded her first Parisian quintet, while it has won a special jury prize at the national jazz competition of the Festival de la Défense. The first of a long list (Jazz Vocal Award from the Académie du Jazz in France, Korean Music Award, Echo Award in Germany …) to one that will be even decorated in 2009 with the insignia of “Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture. In 2013, the Korean government has awarded her with a special prize for her contribution to popular culture and the arts.

Many venues and festivals across the globe also recognize YSN’s talents. She has been invited to perform at numerous events such as Blue Note Jazz Festival, Rochester International Jazz Festival, Jazz at Lincoln Center (USA), Jazz in Marciac, Théâtre du Châtelet, Jazz à Vienne, Printemps de Bourges (France), Montreux Jazz Festival, Verbier Festival, Cully Festival (Switzerland), Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival (Canada), Enjoy Jazz Festival, Women of the World Festival, Klangvokal Musikfestival (Germany), Heineken Jazzaldia San Sebastian (Spain), Rome Jazz festival (Italy), Pori Jazz (Finland), Mai Jazz Festival (Norway), Festival de Wiltz (Luxembourg), Java Jazz Festival (Indonesia), Penang Island Jazz Festival (Malaysia) and Jarasum International Jazz Festival (South Korea), among many others.

Youn Sun Nah’s current projects are her collaboration with Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius as a duo and also as a quartet when they are joined by the French accordionist Vincent Peirani and the double bass player Simon Tailleu.


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Ulf Wakenius

Born: April 16t, 1958 in Halmstad, Sweden. Ulf Wakenius. A jazz guitarist extraordinaire acclaimed and celebrated all over the world. Between 1997 and 2007 Ulf held what may have been the most prestigious spot in jazz for a guitarist: a chair in the Oscar Peterson Quartet.This was the coronation of a career which included many record-breaking moments.Wakenius guitar duo Guitars Unlimited rocked Scandinavia in the early 80s, culminating in the 1985 Melody Grand Prix, which was seen by 600 million viewers, probably the largest audience a jazz guitar duo ever had. Shortly after that Wakenius started a extremely successful and long-lasting collaboration with the legendary bass player Niels-Henning Örsted Pedersen.( NHOP), and both of his duo albums with bass icon...
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Born: April 16t, 1958 in Halmstad, Sweden. Ulf Wakenius. A jazz guitarist extraordinaire acclaimed and celebrated all over the world. Between 1997 and 2007 Ulf held what may have been the most prestigious spot in jazz for a guitarist: a chair in the Oscar Peterson Quartet.This was the coronation of a career which included many record-breaking moments.Wakenius guitar duo Guitars Unlimited rocked Scandinavia in the early 80s, culminating in the 1985 Melody Grand Prix, which was seen by 600 million viewers, probably the largest audience a jazz guitar duo ever had. Shortly after that Wakenius started a extremely successful and long-lasting collaboration with the legendary bass player Niels-Henning Örsted Pedersen.( NHOP), and both of his duo albums with bass icon Ray Brown, topped the US Jazz Charts.The last few years he's been touriing the world with the amazing Korean singer Youn Sun Nah.

Oscar Peterson has publicly described Ulf as one of the greatest guitarists alive in the world today and many of today’s most acclaimed jazz guitarists are among Ulf’s fans, including Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, John Scofield and Mike Stern. Great Rhythmic feel combines with a extraordinary lyrical touch- his emphasis is always on melodies and groove. He has been filmed by Clint Eastwood. His next release on ACT will be Ulf Wakenius-Solo "Momento Magico"


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Vincent Peirani

'What this Nice-born Parisian coaxes out of the piano accordion is something the likes of which has never been heard before. You can tell it is a future legend who is playing here!' – Süddeutsche Zeitung. The French accordion player, singer and composer Vincent Peirani was born on 24.4.1980 in Nice. At the age of 11 he began playing the accordion, initially classical music. As a teenager he already won numerous international awards. At 16 he discovered jazz and soon took up the study of jazz in Paris. At the beginning he faced scepticism with his accordion and his classical training, but he quickly convinced the critics with an entirely new way of looking at the instrument, made a name for...
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"What this Nice-born Parisian coaxes out of the piano accordion is something the likes of which has never been heard before. You can tell it is a future legend who is playing here!" – Süddeutsche Zeitung.
The French accordion player, singer and composer Vincent Peirani was born on 24.4.1980 in Nice. At the age of 11 he began playing the accordion, initially classical music. As a teenager he already won numerous international awards. At 16 he discovered jazz and soon took up the study of jazz in Paris. At the beginning he faced scepticism with his accordion and his classical training, but he quickly convinced the critics with an entirely new way of looking at the instrument, made a name for himself in France's jazz scene and was soon playing with the creme de la creme of French jazz, the likes of Michel Portal, Daniel Humair, Renaud Garcia Fons, Louis Sclavis and Vincent Courtois. Parallel to that he pursued many of his own projects, drawing from the widest range of genres – from jazz, chanson and world music through to classic and even heavy rock. Since 2011, Peirani has been playing regularly in the quartet of the Korean singer Youn Sun Nah, the most successful female jazz artist in France in recent years. Through this engagement he also made the acquaintance of Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius and ultimately the boss of the ACT label Siggi Loch. Peirani played on the Wakenius album "Vagabond" recorded in February 2012, also astonishing and enthralling live audiences everywhere. "Thrill Box" came out in May 2013 and was Vincent Peirani's first album as a leader – star-studded with pianist Michael Wollny, bassist Michel Benita and saxophonists Michel Portal and Émile Parisien. The album showcases the entire wealth of facets of Peirani's musical influences, and reveals more impressively than ever before what an intelligent and artful composer he is, and what a masterful and profoundly musical instrumentalist and storyteller.

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Michael Wollny

Michael Wollny, born in 1978 in Schweinfurt, internationally successful jazz pianist, music inventor, unconventional thinker, popular figure. Nobody plays piano like him. His trademark: the unpredictable, the quest for the never-before-heard, the courage to devote himself to the moment, to make the unforeseen sound self-evident. His desire to keep reinventing himself, both in terms of sound and composition; that is what makes him a “consummate piano maestro” (FAZ) and “the biggest (jazz) musician personality that Germany has produced since Albert Mangelsdorff” (Hamburger Abendblatt). 'As an improviser, you often find that it‘s not the compositions themselves you‘re playing, but your own memories of them. And as these memories come back to you in the moment, they assert their continuing existence in the here...
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Michael Wollny, born in 1978 in Schweinfurt, internationally successful jazz pianist, music inventor, unconventional thinker, popular figure. Nobody plays piano like him. His trademark: the unpredictable, the quest for the never-before-heard, the courage to devote himself to the moment, to make the unforeseen sound self-evident. His desire to keep reinventing himself, both in terms of sound and composition; that is what makes him a “consummate piano maestro” (FAZ) and “the biggest (jazz) musician personality that Germany has produced since Albert Mangelsdorff” (Hamburger Abendblatt).

"As an improviser, you often find that it‘s not the compositions themselves you‘re playing, but your own memories of them. And as these memories come back to you in the moment, they assert their continuing existence in the here and now," says pianist/composer Michael Wollny. In other words, songs are like ghosts. Wollny‘s new album "Ghosts" is a gathering of some of the ghosts that regularly haunt him. Typically for Wollny, they range from classics like Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig" to jazz standards, film music, songs with a certain fragility by Nick Cave, say, or the band Timber Timbre, and also include his own darkly evocative original compositions.

In addition to Michael Wollny‘s leanings towards scary fantasy, the idea of "hauntology" is an important one for him. This term, which has been a looming presence in debates about pop music for some time, awakens memories of a distant past: forgotten, ghostly and spectral sounds. Wollny: "This perspective, these sounds and not least the term itself have preoccupied me in the past few months – and those reflections have led to the idea of producing a piano trio album dealing with the subject." A ghost album, then, that ventures into the depths of conscious and unconscious memory, sifts through stories originating in the past and which cast shadows on the present. This is a story of the friendly ghosts which surround us...but also of some evil spirits which we thought would never return.

The line-up to be heard on "Ghosts" is a direct follow-up from "Weltentraum", an album which now clearly stands as a cornerstone in Wollny's discography, since it established his reputation as an artist "who can turn every conceivable piece of music into an experience to take your breath away" (Die Zeit). American bassist Tim Lefebvre‘s very particular sound and vibe are to be heard on albums by David Bowie, Wayne Krantz and Elvis Costello. Wollny‘s most recent adventure alongside him was the internationally acclaimed project "XXXX". Wollny says: "When you work with Tim, you're not just working with one of the world's top bass players - Tim always has a foot in the world of sound processing, and is constantly expanding his electronic tool-kit. In addition to that, he creates phenomenal clarity in music and in overall sound, which has an unbelievable effect: it gives a shape and an organisation to the music without ever restricting you."

Wollny has been playing with drummer Eric Schaefer for almost 20 years. Like Lefebvre, he is also a complete original, a musician with an almost orchestral approach to sound, an unmistakable sense of groove and impressive individuality."The three of us are aligned in a special , inexplicable way. It‘s hard to describe but the effect is massive," says Wollny. "Last but not least, we are connected by the long time we have spent together. As a trio we have a specific sound, and we are now developing that in a wholly new direction." On "Ghosts", the trio has created a sound in the specific tradition of "Southern Gothic": deep, earthy, full of vibrating, rattling low-tuned strings and drumheads, evoking memories of clapped-out guitar amps, distorted cones of speakers cones. The atmosphere here is oppressively hot, the air heavy with dust.

Before "Ghosts" was actually recorded, another trio - Michael Wollny and the two co-producers Andreas Brandis and Guy Sternberg- convened. Brandis, who had already been heavily involved in the concept of "XXXX", brought to the table the concept of an album of songs, with the right people involved. Sternberg - he, as sound engineer, and Wollny had created the sound world of "Wunderkammer", which was to serve as the point of departure for this new album. Wollny says: "Even before the setlist for the album was fixed, I had a very clear sound in mind, which we discussed extensively with Guy and Andreas beforehand." The trio inhabits an acoustic space where nothing is superfluous or goes to waste: the long-dying resonance from a cymbal, drum or plucked string, or a sound from a reverberant surface, all are somehow there in the air. And sometimes all that remains is an acoustic or an electronic echo, a sound that hovers and acquires its own mysterious and spectral existence.

All the tracks on the album have one thing in common: each is a snapshot in the life of an individual song. Wollny: "Especially in jazz, there is never one definitive version of a piece. The standards repertoire always haunts you in the best sense of the word, these songs are never finished, they always resurface." And so, when it comes to classics such as "I Loves You Porgy" and "In a Sentimental Mood", Wollny, Lefebvre and Schaefer‘s primary point of reference is not the original compositions, but versions by Nina Simone and John Coltrane / Duke Ellington. And from a time before jazz standards, there are the spirits that inhabit folk songs and which reappear whenever these songs are sung. As, for example, in the traditional Irish folk song "She Moved Through the Fair", which is almost a prototype for the idea that ghost stories are to a large extent also love stories. As is also the case for "Willow's Song" - a seductive and dangerous love song from the legendary soundtrack for the cinema thriller "Wicker Man", a classic of the Nordic horror genre, as strange as it is frightening. Also related to "grand guignol" and nature: a startlingly vivid arrangement of Franz Schubert's "Erlkönig". In addition, in reference to the sultry "Southern Gothic": "Hand of God" by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis, audibly dedicated to Wollny's great mentor, whom he describes as the "Hand of God", Joachim Kühn. And furthermore, "Beat the drum slowly" by the band Timber Timbre, a perennial favourite of Wollny's, and "Ghosts" by David Sylvian - perhaps the clearest representation of the themes that characterise "Ghosts": here we find that melodies and sounds can haunt memories that stay either hidden or repressed, and in a way that is at the same time seductive, touching, mysterious and profound. Two original compositions by Wollny find their place naturally in this cleverly selected programme, which is as heterogeneous as it is coherent: first is Wollny's eponymous contribution to "Hauntology", for him "a ‘song without words‘ which comes from another, past or strange, parallel pop world" and then "Monsters never breathe" with its melody that stretches into infinity and could only ever be sung if it were possible to sing without needing to pause for breath.

"All the songs are living ghosts and long for a living voice" wrote the Irish poet Brendan Kennelly (1936 - 2021) in one of his most famous poems. For Michael Wollny, this line is a cryptic and yet profound insight. It adds an eerie beauty and serves as a motto for his fascination for the magic of songs which this recording represents. When we talk about ghosts, we look into what seems to be the past, and bring back memories from it into our lives. We as listeners can all believe in the "Ghosts" that the Michael Wollny Trio hear. Because we can all hear them and recognise them.


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Nils Landgren

Tender-hearted yet tenacious, Nils Landgren is a world-class artist. His Funk Unit’s groove is irresistible, and The Man with the Red Horn himself has led the band through their highly successful run of CDs, and in rapturously received concerts everywhere from Stockholm to Beijing. 'Funk is my Religion' is the band’s eleventh album – the album title just says it all. Landgren and his Norsemen bring a passion, an intensity and a freshness to their craft which has remained undimmed since the start. For more than 25 years, jazz-funk has been the force driving Landgren. This veritable elixir of life produces the bubbling energy, groove and joy that can be heard and felt in every note of the music. The...
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Tender-hearted yet tenacious, Nils Landgren is a world-class artist. His Funk Unit’s groove is irresistible, and The Man with the Red Horn himself has led the band through their highly successful run of CDs, and in rapturously received concerts everywhere from Stockholm to Beijing. "Funk is my Religion" is the band’s eleventh album – the album title just says it all. Landgren and his Norsemen bring a passion, an intensity and a freshness to their craft which has remained undimmed since the start. For more than 25 years, jazz-funk has been the force driving Landgren. This veritable elixir of life produces the bubbling energy, groove and joy that can be heard and felt in every note of the music. The band’s deliciously easy and laid-back vibe gets straight through to audiences. With the crispness of their funk rhythms, blazing brass, cool vocals and persuasive melodies, a new chapter for the Nils Landgren Funk Unit is only just beginning.

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Jacob Karlzon

Presenting Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, ACT impressively demonstrates that even though there are quite a few piano trios around, there is still room for innovation when playing in the classical formation of piano, double bass and drums.  On his ACT debut 'More', Karlzon defies every convention of the genre. He merges pop and rock elements with the typical attributes of Scandinavian jazz, such as inspirational space, sweet melancholy and clear, catchy melodies – and all this with a dynamic range from fragile chamber music to heavy metal. The fact that Karlzon is one of the technically most accomplished and virtuous jazz pianists today, almost has to take a back seat. He is far more interested in the song itself, its specific mood...
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Presenting Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon, ACT impressively demonstrates that even though there are quite a few piano trios around, there is still room for innovation when playing in the classical formation of piano, double bass and drums. On his ACT debut "More", Karlzon defies every convention of the genre. He merges pop and rock elements with the typical attributes of Scandinavian jazz, such as inspirational space, sweet melancholy and clear, catchy melodies – and all this with a dynamic range from fragile chamber music to heavy metal. The fact that Karlzon is one of the technically most accomplished and virtuous jazz pianists today, almost has to take a back seat. He is far more interested in the song itself, its specific mood and energy and the way the music may make its way into the hearts of the audience. The accepted definition of jazz has become far too narrow for Karlzon. His compositions have the effect of good pop songs. Next to the acoustic and electronic piano sounds there has always been space for a lot of synthesiser – but never as distinctively as on "More". Karlzon became known as a sideman of singer Victoria Tolstoy and has been a permanent member of her band since her 2005 album "My Swedish Heart". He also featured on her last recording "Letters to Herbie" – the album was a tribute to pianist Herbie Hancock. Karlzon himself already released his first album as a band leader in 1992. "More" is his sixth album. He also participated in the production of around 40 more recordings. Alongside his collaboration with Viktoria Tolstoy he played with Billy Cobham, Kenny Wheeler, Tim Hagans, Jeff Ballard, Cæcilie Norby, Nils Landgren and many more. In the course of his career Karlzon has received many distinguished awards. In 1997 he was awarded the "Jazz in Sweden Award" and considered the newcomer of the year by Swedish radio. In 2010 he received the renowned French jazz award "Django d'Or".

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Adam Bałdych

Violinist and composer. Born 18.05.1986 in Gorzow Wielkopolski, based in Warsaw. A graduate of the Academy of Music in Katowice, tutored by Henryk Gembalski. Since 2012 he has been associated with ACT music publisher seated in Munich. Dubbed “a violin prodigy”, he started his career at the age of 14. He was promptly recognised as an innovator combining the achievements of classical music and the contemporary language of the violin with an improviser’s talent. In a short time, he created his own style, which became an inspiration for a new generation of improvising violinists. He has presented his music at the most important jazz festivals and in prestigious concert halls, in countries such as: Poland, Germany, South Korea, China, Japan, the United States,...
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Violinist and composer. Born 18.05.1986 in Gorzow Wielkopolski, based in Warsaw. A graduate of the Academy of Music in Katowice, tutored by Henryk Gembalski. Since 2012 he has been associated with ACT music publisher seated in Munich.

Dubbed “a violin prodigy”, he started his career at the age of 14. He was promptly recognised as an innovator combining the achievements of classical music and the contemporary language of the violin with an improviser’s talent. In a short time, he created his own style, which became an inspiration for a new generation of improvising violinists.

He has presented his music at the most important jazz festivals and in prestigious concert halls, in countries such as: Poland, Germany, South Korea, China, Japan, the United States, Canada, Austria, Iceland, Portugal, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Italy, Spain, and Indonesia. He has performed and recorded with extraordinary artists such as: Yaron Herman, Agata Zubel, Cezary Duchnowski, Helge Lien, Aaron Parks, Lars Danielsson, Nils Landgren, Iiro Rantala, Marius Neset, Jacob Karlzon, Joachim Kuhn, and Billy Cobham. He has received numerous prizes and awards, such as: The Grand Prix and the individual award of the Jazz nad Odrą festival (2006), ECHO Jazz - a German music industry award (2013), the Polish gold Cross of Merit (2016) and the Decoration of Honor Meritorious for Polish Culture (2016). In 2020, together with the Adam Bałdych Quartet, he became a finalist of the prestigious BMW Welt Jazz 2020 award, with results to be announced in January 2021.

Adam Bałdych has been more and more active as a classical composer, writing pieces commissioned by renowned orchestras. In 2015 he composed the Mozaika-Impresje piece commissioned by the Szczecin Baltic Neopolis Orchestra, and in 2016 he wrote Antiphona to the texts found in the Qumran caves for the Orkiestra Muzyki Nowej. In 2019 he prepared the Early Birds Symphony commissioned by the AUKSO orchestra for the Auksodrone festival, and he is about to realise further commissions for AUKSO. In 2021 Adam Bałdych’s new composition, commissioned by the Stuttgarter Kammerorchester, will be premiered in Stuttgart.

Adam Bałdych is appreciated for his creativity in the field of jazz and contemporary music performance, blending the two domains in a creative manner, and a great expressivity of his musical interpretations. He has participated in recording nearly 20 albums. The latest, released in 2021 - Poetry - is the seventh album he wrote and performed in published by ACT. This album is Bałdych’s collaboration with the extraordinary Italian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, the album appeared in the ranking of the most important publications of the year by the American portal Bandcamp and the British JazzWise magazine.


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Solveig Slettahjell

At the beginning of the 2000s, Norwegian singer Solveig Slettahjell and her Slow Motion Quintet made the European jazz scene really sit up and take notice. Her concept, as Canadian critic John Kelman has written, was to take songs from the American songbook and to “slow them down. Way down. [...] She proved that slow, powerful and dramatic need not be mutually exclusive terms.” “Come In From The Rain” now demonstrates how much those virtues have strengthened and deepened in the intervening years.   That astonishing ability to concentrate on the essentials of a song – and to express much more with nuances and details than would be possible with volume or bombast – are still Slettahjell trademarks. Together with her companions,...
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At the beginning of the 2000s, Norwegian singer Solveig Slettahjell and her Slow Motion Quintet made the European jazz scene really sit up and take notice. Her concept, as Canadian critic John Kelman has written, was to take songs from the American songbook and to “slow them down. Way down. [...] She proved that slow, powerful and dramatic need not be mutually exclusive terms.” “Come In From The Rain” now demonstrates how much those virtues have strengthened and deepened in the intervening years.
That astonishing ability to concentrate on the essentials of a song – and to express much more with nuances and details than would be possible with volume or bombast – are still Slettahjell trademarks. Together with her companions, Slettahjell captivates the listener from the outset of the opening title track ”Come In From The Rain”. They literally pull us out of the rain into their musical cosmos, introduced by Andreas Ulvo’s wonderful piano touch, the minimalist drum rhythms from Pål Hausken and the grounding yet playful bass of Trygve Waldemar Fiske.
Slettahjell prepares her projects thoroughly and gives them the time they need to mature. “The idea of putting together a new band and of recording this album have been in the making for at least the last three years,” she says. And the technical processes of recording are a source of pride: “We recorded this album live to tape. Working in this old fashioned way was such a thrill and gives weight to the interplay and instant musicmaking aspect of the recording and of our quartet.” The vibe right through this album is well-judged, the storytelling is compelling. There are timeless old tales like Buddy Johnson’s “Since I Fell For You” or Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean”, stories to be rediscovered afresh like “I Lost My Sugar In Salt Lake City”, and more recent ones like “Johnsburg, Illinois” by Tom Waits. And there are new ones like “So I Borrow Your Smile”, her own composition. These songs may come from folk or jazz or pop, yet Slettahjell and her highly accomplished musicians always make them individual, tasteful and authentic. And the subtle way she bends notes, always bringing them into perfectly true-pitched final focus is nothing short of miraculous. Every time.

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Rigmor Gustafsson

She has soul in her voice” (Nils Landgren about Rigmor Gustafsson) Rigmor Gustafsson was born and grew up on a small farm in Värmland, in the very heart of Sweden. She picked up the guitar at age nine, and soon discovered her passion for jazz. It soon became clear that she wished to turn this passion into a career. After her education at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, she rapidly became known in Sweden as an excellent vocalist. She worked with various big bands, led her own small groups, performed on Swedish television and made numerous recordings for radio. In 1993 she moved to New York to study at the New School and at Mannes College of Music and soon founded her first...
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She has soul in her voice” (Nils Landgren about Rigmor Gustafsson) Rigmor Gustafsson was born and grew up on a small farm in Värmland, in the very heart of Sweden. She picked up the guitar at age nine, and soon discovered her passion for jazz. It soon became clear that she wished to turn this passion into a career.
After her education at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, she rapidly became known in Sweden as an excellent vocalist. She worked with various big bands, led her own small groups, performed on Swedish television and made numerous recordings for radio.
In 1993 she moved to New York to study at the New School and at Mannes College of Music and soon founded her first quintet, which also toured all over Europe. In 1996 Rigmor returned to Stockholm, was given a teaching position at the Royal Academy of Music and has since been regarded as a star of the young and lively Swedish jazz scene.
In 2002 Rigmor was a guest star on Nils Landgren’s highly successful album “Sentimental Journey” (ACT 9409-2) and in 2003 she presented her debut on ACT “I Will Wait For You” (ACT 9418-2), which established her firmly in the tradition of great Swedish jazz singers like Monica Zetterlund, Lill Lindfors, Sylvia Vrethammer or Alice Babs. I “Will Wait For You” rocketed up to second place in the German jazz charts and No.1 in Sweden, where she took over from Norah Jones, who had held place for 74 weeks. The German Jazz Award and a Gold record in Sweden were tangible rewards for the success of this album produced by Nils Landgren.
The following year Gustafsson and the French-American pianist Jacky Terrasson released a moving and sensual tribute to one of the greatest singers of pop culture, Dionne Warwick: “Close To You” (ACT 9703-2). Rarely have pop songs looked so good in jazz clothes. The new arrangements fit the soul-classics like a glove. The songs retain their pop identity, yet they have become exciting contemporary jazz. Gustafsson was not only rewarded with the Swedish Jazz Award, she was named “Best singer of the year” by Werner Burkhardt in the end-of the-year review in the Süddeutsche Zeitung.
On her next album “On My Way to You” (ACT 9710-2), released in February 2006, Gustafsson interpreted Michel Legrand’s world famous melodies from films with great jazz feeling. Some of his songs like “Windmills of Your Mind", "Once upon a Summertime" or "You Must Believe in Spring", have become part of the world's musical heritage, and Gustafsson – directed by producer Landgren – proves to be the ideal voice for these songs. Michel Legrand himself admits: “I am honoured that Rigmor has chosen to do some of my songs. She knocks me out!” On My Way to You even placed Gustafsson 12th in the Swedish POP charts, and the album won a gold record in Sweden.
The following album ”Alone With You” (ACT 9717-2, released in fall 2007), her fourth release on ACT, ventures into uncharted (for Gustafsson) territory. Although she has been writing music and also lyrics herself for years, Gustafsson is more known to the public for her exceptional and empathic versions of other people’s songs. Now she has taken another step forward and put together a highly personal album comprised exclusively of her own songs.
In 2010 Rigmor recorded an incomparable album with the radio.string.quartet.vienna. “Calling You” (ACT 9722-2) is probably the only one among other song albums which unites vocals and strings in such a way as to form the “tapestry” of emotions found here. The tracks range from pop songs by Paul Simon and Stevie Wonder, to Burt Bacharach-classics, jazz standards and intricate rarities by Joni Mitchell and Richard Bona, as well as Swedish folk songs. This great musical richness is presented in the highly distinctive, sometimes warm, sometimes dynamic but always enjoyable style of the r.s.q.v., and carried by Gustafsson’s individual and moving voice.
After five albums in seven years with ACT it was time for something special: In 2011 Rigmor’s “Signature Edition” (ACT 6009-2) was released. This double-CD album contains a selection of songs from her last five albums as well as three previously unreleased songs. The range of her musical expressions is as broad as the range of human feelings itself: she sings blues and soul, several own compositions, enlightens sophisticated chansons, flirts with pop and classical music or improves with sparkling joy on catchy jazz pieces. Gustafsson loves to work with a host of very different musicians, for example with illustrious pianists Jacky Terrasson or Elise Einarsdotter; with the magical drummers Eric Harland or Wolfgang Haffner; with the genre-bending radio.string.quartet.vienna; and consistently with Nils Landgren, as a trombone player as well as a perfect matching singer.
“Her soul speaks to other souls”, Werner Burkhardt wrote about her performance at JazzBaltica a few years back. One is hard put to find better words for her voice and her personality.

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Rita Marcotulli

The origin of their intuitive musical understanding can be found in the remarkable similarities between their careers to date: both began with classical music at a very early age, both developed their musicianship with a classical education, and both are inexorably linked by the love of the traditional songs of their homeland, Italy. Rita Marcotulli carved herself an impressive international career in a very short time. Alongside jazz greats such as Chet Baker, Joe Lovano, Paul Bley, Palle Danielsson, Michel Portal, Enrico Rava, Pat Metheny and Nguyên Lê, the native Roman also collaborates repeatedly with popular stars of the Italian music scene such as the songwriters Pino Daniele and Gianmaria Testa.
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The origin of their intuitive musical understanding can be found in the remarkable similarities between their careers to date: both began with classical music at a very early age, both developed their musicianship with a classical education, and both are inexorably linked by the love of the traditional songs of their homeland, Italy.
Rita Marcotulli carved herself an impressive international career in a very short time. Alongside jazz greats such as Chet Baker, Joe Lovano, Paul Bley, Palle Danielsson, Michel Portal, Enrico Rava, Pat Metheny and Nguyên Lê, the native Roman also collaborates repeatedly with popular stars of the Italian music scene such as the songwriters Pino Daniele and Gianmaria Testa.

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