NEW DOUBLE CD FROM JAZZ BASSIST AND COMPOSER ANNE METTE IVERSEN: "BEST OF THE WEST + MANY PLACES"
Anne Mette Iversen Quartet & the string quartet 4Corners: "Best of the West"
A jazz-suite for double-quartet; "Best of the West" is written by Anne Mette Iversen for her jazz quartet, the Anne Mette Iversen Quartet and the string quartet 4Corners. Musically “Best of the West” is inspired/has grown out of Ms. Iversen's background in both jazz and classical music, and aims to bring together these two; maybe the two most profound/sophisticated music traditions of western culture.
"Best of the West" is, so far, the pinnacle of Ms. Iversen's compositional writings, as it succeds in bringing together jazz and classical music on equal terms. The piece is written in 4 movements like a classical symphony, and the musical union happens as each movement is based on a traditional classical form, being: "EAST" - Allegro (medium/up), "SOUTH" - Adagio (slow), "WEST" - Menuet (waltz), "NORTH" - Presto (fast). The musical content is derived mainly from the jazz language, although there are times within the suite, where the writing, particularly for the strings, is best described as contemporary classical music.
The piece expresses variety in feeling and emotion that bring into attention the multifaceted world we live in; i.e. a world which requires open-mindedness and focus on communication between cultures as a central ingredient in our lives.
This theme is underlined in the music particularly in that the string-quartet and the jazz-quartet maintain their identity and individuality throughout the piece. Unlike most meetings of jazz and classical music, where one style performs a subservient role, or both styles are diluted beyond recognition, "Best of the West" manages to present each group and style at it's most compelling, and this way, in purely musical terms; it illustrates the beauty of concepts such as interaction, conversation, dialog and mutual support.
Anne Mette Iversen Quartet: "Many Places"
Anne Mette Iversen Quartet has made three records together and toured once a year in Europe the past three years. "Many Places" compiles music from various periods of these three years, and on this recording the quartet has matured into one unit, one voice, one identity; speaking in the musical language of Anne Mette Iversen, but flavored with the individual voices of each band member.
There is no overall programmatic idea to the album "Many Places", but rather different personal stories behind each tune.
"Many Places" toys with the theme that one can settle down many places, i.e. anywhere, and create an "at home" feeling; because man can adopt to any situation as long as one stays true to oneself and one's own needs. "2004" is simply a description of a certain swinging moment; "Milo Man" is a reflection and an ode to Anne Mette's first born son; and "Out the Atlantic" is saying goodbye to life on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. "Pjerrot's Smile" is the comic teasing figure that will run around iin circles with you; and "Sambavian" is an "attempt gone off track" to express Anne Mette's love for Brazilian music. The three tunes "Cataldo One", "Cataldo Ballad" and "The Square in Ravello" are all composed during an artist residency on the Amalfi Coast in Italy in 2006. They are respectively 1) trying to catch the hectic New York atmosphere from afar, 2) capturing the beauty of the Amalfi Coast, and 3) watching the children in play on the center square in front of the church in Ravello.
Reviews of Anne Mette Iversen Quartet have been great:
Concert review, JazzTimes Magazine Jan '08, by Bill Milkowski. Smalls Jazz Club, NYC:
- "A classically trained pianist, Iversen's intelligent writing style organically balances intricate, through-composed ensemble playing and wide-open improvisation in a compelling chamberjazz aesthetic."
- "This sharp outfit is definitely one to check out".
Concert review, Dresdener Neueste Nachrichten Oct '07, by Beate Baum, from Blue Note in Dresden:
- "...what one is experiencing...is a world-class music-evening that one don't get many opportuneties to experience. Listening to compositions, in which the whole American and Western European harmonic repertoire meet; where so much charm and intelligence is found, that you, the listener, is continously challenged. And where the rhythms, the feel and the bouncy swing call for smiles on your lip and twitches in your leg. Because, this music is not only presented by four professional and highly competent musicians; it is also performed with that understatement, that stage-experience and that talent for improvisation, that the jazzers command. The English language has a word for it, which describes it very accurately: sophisticated."
- "It is music in it's purest kind."
CD review of "This Is My House" in Jazzreview.com, Jan 07, by John Barron:
- "...Brooklyn-based bassist/composer Anne Mette Iversen delivers a stunning collection of original progressive jazz, bursting with lively melodies, intricate ensemble interplay and high-flying improvisations. With the aid of tenor saxophonist John Ellis, pianist Danny Grissett and drummer Otis Brown III, Iversen’s music negotiates an exquisite balance between seriousness and unbridled joy. There is an overriding spirit of optimism that pervades the entire session."
- "As a composer Iversen carves out an emotive landscape with sophistication and an abundance of
- "The tight ensemble sound is one of a true quartet of collaborators who are able to anticipate each
other’s every move."
CD review of "This Is My House" in All About Jazz, NYC, Jan 07, by Elliot Simon:
- "...she artfully blends classical European training with deliciously palpable arrangements of original music for a beautifully textured experience."
- "...Iversen adeptly leads things through a myriad of colors with precision and creativity."
Anne Mette Iversen Quartet is:
John Ellis - saxophones
Danny Grissett - piano
Otis Brown III - drums
Anne Mette Iversen - bass & composition
www.annemetteiversen.com & www.myspace.com/annemetteiversen
4Corners string quartet is:
Tine Rudloff - violin
Sarah McClelland Jacobsen - violin
Anne Lindeskov - viola
Mats Larsson - cello