Kathrine Windfeld Big Band, Latency (Stunt Records)
Kathrine Winfeld’s second album further establishes the 30-year-old Dane in the vanguard of new arranger-composers and bandleaders. Her young, experienced, adventurous musicians from Denmark, Sweden and Norway may be considered an all-star Scandinavian aggregation, but not in the sense that Ms. Winfeld’s music dwells on Scandinavian themes. Rather, her work is in a league with bands like those of Maria Schneider, Darcy James Argue, Christian McBride and John Beasley’s Monkestra—outfits unafraid to be eclectic and eccentric but insistent on values growing out of the mainstream tradition. Ms. Winfeld’s crew maintains swing even when the saxophones in the piece called “Double Fleisch” verge on free jazz a la Chicago’s AACM of the 1960s. Then she unleashes the intrepid trombone soloist Göran Abelli, who is unrestrained, as he was in the 2016 Windfeld album Aircraft.
Ms. Winfeld expresses a softer side of her conception in “Leaving Portland.” The piece opens with her subdued piano. The brass builds intensity before making way for a brief, lyrical, flugelhorn solo by the young Norwegian Magnus Oseth. The composer told me when we spoke in Sweden a couple of years ago that she has never been to Portland, Oregon, or Portland, Maine. In a recent email interview about the piece, she explained, “I just liked the sound of the words! The drama and melancholy of “port,” “land” and “leaving.”
Her orchestration beautifully captures both elements, which also underlie “Roadmovie,” with a Windfeld piano introduction supported by the Swedish bassist Johannes Vaht, who solos later in the piece, as does the Danish soprano saxophonist Jakob Lundbak, with his splendid reedy tone. The trombones introduce “Wasp,” but the wasp-in-chief is the Swedish tenor saxophonist Ida Karlsson, whose buzzing, slap-tongue notes and agitated delivery highlight the piece before it subsides beneath a passage orchestrated for reeds, brass and rhythm section.
“December Elegy” brings back Oseth on flugelhorn and Ms. Windfeld at the piano. More of the leader’s smooth orchestral textures encompass imaginative harmonies across the sections.
Occasionally, there are albums that give you more with each hearing. This is one of them.
From last summer’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival, here is the Windfeld Big Band with a live version of “Wasp.” At the top, go to your piano and strike A above middle C to find if they are in tune…or if your piano is in tune. The band members are listed at the end of the video.
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.