Category Archives: Artist

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CD of the Month: The Ed Bickert Trio – Out of the Past

The CD of the month (which means it’s the CD that is running all the time in my car) is at the moment from Canadian guitar player Ed Bickert. Pretty unknown to me until I accidentally stumbled over a video of him on Youtube.  I found the following  video when I looked for Jazz guitarists playing a Telecaster.

I thought this is real cool stuff and so I started to listen and to read about Ed Bickert. His style and approach to play is quite unique but very melodious and harmonic and I think there is never any wrong or strange note in his playing.

I found the album “Out of the Past” and since several weeks this music is my inspiration and companion. The CD has never dropped out of the CD player in my car. The sound of the guitar is soft and mellow but the harmonic ideas are immense. The album was originally released in 1976 (at a time where e.g. Pat Martino released his album Joyous Lake, an album that really captures the spirit of that period) and it feels like it is fallen from a total different era into the 70′s.

The music is cool and relaxed, very soft and full of harmony, but the band has a grip, you just don’t feel it right away.  Bassist Don Thompson and drummer Terry Clarke are like a perfect match for Ed and it feels like they know each other very well. I’ve read that “this group had worked together extensively backing visiting American jazz soloists in Toronto clubs”.

Personal favorites of the CD are
- Soft Winds: With a great 4×4 part with guitar and drums
- Deep in a Dream: A great and beautiful ballad
- Skating in Central Park: Another perfect ballad

If you like the CD and Ed’s style of playing then please look around on the internet. Even if he never became famous like Pat Martino or Jim Hall, he has a great and loyal fan base especially in Canada where he is really admired, and he found another fan in Switzerland.

Monika Roscher Big Band

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Here is a Big Band from Munich, Germany that won the Echo prize (one of the most prestigious prizes in Germany) for the “Jazz Newcomer National 2014″, the “Monika Roscher Big Band”.

This Big Band exists since 2010 and started as a project during Monikas studies at the Munich’s academy of music.

The sound of this band is based on the idea of a Jazz Big Band, with a really regular setup of 5 saxophones, 5 trumpets, 4 trombones and a rhythm section with one extra musician for electronics.

Monika herself plays guitar, usually a Fender Stratocaster, sings and is responsible for all compositions and arrangements.

The sound of this band not easy to describe, but people who listen to Jazz, electronic music, trip hop or indie music will find elements of those styles in the music of this band.

Their first album “Failure in Wonderland” was recorded in 2012 and created a huge press reaction, which allowed the band to tour in 2013 extensively throughout Germany. The band performed the closing concert at the Berlin Jazzfest and shared the stage with John Scofield. The broadcast of this concert on several radio stations made the band even more popular. Since then the enthusiasm for the music of the Monika Roscher Big Band hasn’t stopped.

I need to confess here that I share this enthusiasm. Listening to this CD  was also for me one the most surprising moments this year. I think that this is really a path where musicians have found a new and unique look onto the genre “Big Band”.

Let’s hope that I have a chance to see this band live in the near future.

More information on tour dates and the band is available on their website under http://www.monikaroscher.com

Here is the latest video “Future 3″, a compilation of on-stage and backstage impressions of concerts in 2014.

And finally an iTunes playlist: