Monday, December 22, 2008

#4

Angles, Every Woman is a Tree (Clean Feed)

For a nation of nine million souls, Sweden has placed a proportionally high number of albums on this list – Love is All, Bengt Berger, and the Raveonettes have already achieved the great distinction of being named TiOM top 25ers. Add alto saxophonist Martin Kuchen and his latest project, Angles, to that number. Every Woman is a Tree is a stark and dark, Matthias Stahl's vibraphones darkening the corners of this roiling live collective improvisation. This is free music as Freedom Music; protest and dissent circa now. Thou ancient, thou free rouses Sweden's national anthem; this sextet certainly bears that second part to heart. The performances are tense and tight, the tunes aren't frothy but have enough head to satisfy. All of it adds up to my favourite free/improv/jazz recording of 2008 (that it came from an artist and group I'd never before heard of makes it all the more pleasing). ((And once again, Clean Feed proves itself one of the most interesting labels out there.))

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I can't believe that you've included four albums by Swedish artists on your list, and The Tallest Man on Earth isn't one of them (the only Swedish artist that I included on my list - which can be seen in a comment posting a few posts back). I guess Sweden had an even better than I originally thought. Sverige, du klippa!

D.

Anonymous said...

...even better YEAR...

/a said...

Just shows the range of Sweden's artistic output, I guess. Full tell: I've never heard of The Tallest Man on Earth. I don't pretend this is a comprehensive list of the best of ALL music, just my favourites among what I've been able to hear. That said, I'll look into TTMitW.

And yes, I did see your list, and what a list. As always, it seems, we have a few in common, and a few divergences.

Anonymous said...

While you are looking into Tallest Man, I highly urge you to also check out The Rural Alberta Advantage. You may not have heard of them either, as they are an unsigned band from Toronto. I honestly haven't been able to listen to anything else since discovering them recently. So recent in fact that I didn't include them on the DD. I may just have to make one final tweak to include them. Or I could always make that second disc...

D.

/a said...

Already got the RAA. They were highly touted by the editors at eMusic, so I was intrigued. I dig, but not Top 25 dig. If I have an also-ran list, they're on it. But kudos to them for penning a song called "Edmonton." There are too few songs dedicated to the Chicago of the near north.

My large-scale plan for a double CD DD fizzled in the face of market forces beyond my control. These are tough times, or so I hear.