Reviews that mention Lotte Anker

November 6, 2016

Festival Report

Brda Contemporary Music Festival
By Ken Waxman

Good things come in small packages as the saying goes, and when it comes to a setting for a creative music festival, it’s likely difficult to find a smaller location than Šmartno, a fortified hamlet of 30 souls in Slovenia, which hosted the sixth edition of the Brda Contemporary Music Festival (BCMF) September 15th-17th. Laid out with a few winding cobblestone streets among restored and crumbling walls and buildings, the camp-type fortress dates back to the 15th century and was declared a cultural monument in 1985. Šmartno is just one of the miniscule homesteads which cling to the steep hills and curving roads of the Goriška Brda area (total population 5,000), located about midway between Triste, Italy and Ljubljana. Slovenia’s Napa Valley, Goriška Brda’s Mediterranean-like climate boasts more than 150 wine producers, with vineyards seemingly strung across every hill. BCMF itself takes place in and around Šmartno’s Hiše Kulture, consisting of three older dwelling joined together, with three floors now housing a bar, an art gallery and the Jazz Podium a basement performance space, with a raised stage topped with green, pool-table-felt-like material. MORE

September 26, 2016

Santos Silva/Anker/Sandell/Zetterberg/Falt

Life and Other Transient Storms
Clean Feed CF379CD

Santos Silva/Wodrascka/Meaas Svendsen/Berre

Rasengan!

Barefoot BFREC048CD

Schisms may be appearing in many countries of the European Union, but you certainly wouldn’t believe that’s happening if you follow the careers of some of the continent’s busiest improvising musicians. Like programmers, scientist or others with transferable skills, they’re as apt to be regularly found in two or three countries besides their own working with players native to even more dominions. MORE

April 7, 2016

Festival Report

VinterJazz
By Ken Waxman

When attending a Copenhagen gig, ensure you’re on time. Unlike “jazz time” where a set begins from one-half to one hour late, the Danes are so punctual that during the final days of Copenhagen’s annual VinterJazz (VJ) festival February 24 to 27, 15 minutes was the average “delayed” start time. Created 15 years ago as a relation to the summer Copenhagen Jazz Festival, in 2016, hundreds of shows throughout the city took place under the VJ banner often simultaneously, so selectivity was the watchword. MORE

March 22, 2016

Hanoi New Music Festival Ensemble 2013

Being Together
Setola di Maiale SM 2840

By Ken Waxman

Although more closely associated with 1960s’ Vietnam War designators like the Ho Chi Minh trail and the Hanoi Hilton, there’s now an improvised music scene in Hanoi and this disc celebrates the city’s first-ever New Music Festival. A three-party piece based on a graphic score by Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker, the performance was the finale of the 10-day fest with participation from five locals playing traditional instruments as well as eight attendees from Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Germany. MORE

January 21, 2016

Lotte Anker/Fred Frith

Edge of the Light
Intakt CD 237

Lotte Anker

What River is This?

ILK 226 CD

Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker has been involved in a diverse cross section of musicians since she first began recording in 1985, from the Copenhagen Art Ensemble to sessions with the likes of pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Gerald Cleaver. One of the most fruitful of recent collaborations has been with British guitarist Fred Frith and these two discs show off Janus-faced sides of this combination.

Commissioned by Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Copenhagen’s Wundergrund Festival, What River is This is an extended composition obliquely dealing with hypnagogia, the transitional state from wakefulness to sleep. Besides Anker and Frith, the ensemble especially formed exclusively for the performance includes clarinetist Anna Klett, violist Garth Knox, bassist Jesper Egelund, percussionist Chris Cutler, Ikue Mori on electronics and Phil Minton, singing words as well as producing expected verbal noises. Lighter in personnel, with only Anker playing soprano, alto and tenor saxophones plus Frith on guitar, Edge of the Light is also … well, edgier. MORE

January 21, 2016

Lotte Anker

What River is This?
ILK 226 CD

Lotte Anker/Fred Frith

Edge of the Light

Intakt CD 237

Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker has been involved in a diverse cross section of musicians since she first began recording in 1985, from the Copenhagen Art Ensemble to sessions with the likes of pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Gerald Cleaver. One of the most fruitful of recent collaborations has been with British guitarist Fred Frith and these two discs show off Janus-faced sides of this combination. MORE

October 1, 2015

Festival Report

Météo
By Ken Waxman

Multi-media, theatricalism and electronics were the motifs that kept cropping up during the Météo Festival (August 25-29) in this Alsatian city known for its textile industry and unique German-French flair. There were also plenty of intense improvisations in its venues, confirming the continued strength of the 33-year-old festival.

Artistic mixing was most prominent during Météo’s opening concert in the Italianate 19th Century Théâtre de la Sinne as the French Surnatural Orchestra interacted with a screening of Italian director Dario D’Aregento’s 1975 slasher film Profondo Rosso. Unlike most music-with-cinema programs where live playing is subordinated to the visuals, this bloody over-the-top Hitchcock-Goddard-Fellini pastiche was frozen at various junctures for limber solos by a dancer, a speaker’s pseudo-pretentious film analysis, a scream from the stalls, cabaret style singing and a Second Line march through the audience. Still, no sonic moments stood out, and the exercise could be liked to someone decked out in full Carnaby Street fashion surmounting the outfit with a Viking helmet. MORE

September 5, 2011

Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver

Floating Islands
ILK 162 CD

Nicolas Caloia Quartet

Tilting

No # No label

Henry Threadgill Zooid

This Brings Us To Volume II

Pi Recording PI 36

William Parker & ICI Ensemble

Winter Sun Crying

Neos Jazz 41008

Something In The Air: Guelph Jazz Festival 2011

By Ken Waxman

--For Whole Note Vol. 17 #1

A highlight of the international calendar, the Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), September 7 to 11, has maintained its appeal to both the adventurous and the curious over 18 years. It has done so mixing educational symposia with populist outdoor concerts, featuring performers ranging from established masters to experimenters from all over the world. MORE

October 28, 2009

Mokuto

Dressed Like a Horse
Ninth World Music 040 CD

Herb Robertson/Mark Solborg

[NOD]

ILK 152 CD

Underappreciated in North America – though he has returned to live in New Jersey – while steadily gigging in Europe, trumpeter Herb Robertson is one of those accomplished improvisers whose public profile doesn’t match his capabilities. This is despite the fact that he’s appeared on more than 100 albums since 1982, as a leader and a valued part of ensembles led by figures ranging from British bassist Barry Guy and Dutch pianist Michiel Braam to American drummer Gerry Hemingway. Here are two more examples of his adaptable craft, both of which also feature Danish musicians. MORE

October 28, 2009

Herb Robertson/Mark Solborg

[NOD]
ILK 152 CD

Mokuto

Dressed Like a Horse

Ninth World Music 040 CD

Underappreciated in North America – though he has returned to live in New Jersey – while steadily gigging in Europe, trumpeter Herb Robertson is one of those accomplished improvisers whose public profile doesn’t match his capabilities. This is despite the fact that he’s appeared on more than 100 albums since 1982, as a leader and a valued part of ensembles led by figures ranging from British bassist Barry Guy and Dutch pianist Michiel Braam to American drummer Gerry Hemingway. Here are two more examples of his adaptable craft, both of which also feature Danish musicians. MORE

May 20, 2009

Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver

Live at the Loft
ILK 148 CD

Lotte Anker/Sylvie Courvoisier/Ikue MoriV

Alien Huddle

Intakt CD 144

Germinating notable improvised music is more a function of intellect and emotion than gender, race or geography – as these sessions led by Danish reedist Lotte Anker demonstrate. Live at the Loft, recorded in Köln, finds her playing with pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver, both American and male. Alien Huddle on the other hand, was recorded in New York, and features the Dane in the company of two other non-Americans or aliens: Swiss-born pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and Japanese-born electronics-manipulator Ikue Mori, both of whom, like Anker, are female. MORE

May 20, 2009

Lotte Anker/Sylvie Courvoisier/Ikue Mori

Alien Huddle
Intakt CD 144

Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver

Live at the Loft

ILK 148 CD

Germinating notable improvised music is more a function of intellect and emotion than gender, race or geography – as these sessions led by Danish reedist Lotte Anker demonstrate. Live at the Loft, recorded in Köln, finds her playing with pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver, both American and male. Alien Huddle on the other hand, was recorded in New York, and features the Dane in the company of two other non-Americans or aliens: Swiss-born pianist Sylvie Courvoisier and Japanese-born electronics-manipulator Ikue Mori, both of whom, like Anker, are female. MORE

April 30, 2006

Szilárd Mezei International Ensemble

Draught
Leo Records

Pierre Dørge & New Jungle Orchestra
Negra Tigra
Ilk

Copenhagen Art Ensemble
Don’t Mention the War
Stunt Records

By Ken Waxman
April 30, 2006

Variations on a theme, each of these CDs from Northern and Central European mid-sized bands subtly mesh tinctures available from different-sized ensembles into ensemble aural pictures, rather then relying on the vibrant colors from single featured soloists.

Constituted as a bedside cameo, a front room landscape or a museum-sized hanging, the three discs feature bands of eight (Draught), 10 (Negra Tigra), and 14 (Don’t Mention the War) players – with all the ensembles officially smaller than big bands, but large enough to provide distinctive shadings in these art works. MORE

January 1, 2006

Lotte Anker/Craig Taborn/Gerald Cleaver

Triptych
Leo

ICTUS
Live
ILK

By Ken Waxman
January 1, 2006

Known – if at all – in North America for her contributions to Tim Berne’s recording of the open, coma saxophone suite, and her trio appearances with pianist Marilyn Crispell, Danish reedist Lotte Anker has a much higher profile elsewhere.

Moving among free improv, contemporary classical music and a combination of the two, the tenor and soprano saxophonist has composed theatre music and worked in Danish percussionist Marilyn Mazur’s ensembles and American Maria Schneider’s big band. MORE

December 9, 2002

TIM BERNE AND THE COPENHAGEN ART ENSEMBLE

open, coma
Screwgun Screwu 012

Finally, after more than 20 years of recording, card-carrying New York downtowner Tim Berne is able to show off his versatility by writing for and playing with uncommon aggregations.

Not that the alto saxophonist hasn’t created impressive -- some very impressive -- work using the standard horns-and-rhythm-section of traditional jazz trios, quartets and sextets. Yet in apparently less doctrinaire European countries, unusual combinations can be rehearsed and recorded. Recently a CD featuring notated compositions written for his alto and a Swiss classical saxophone quartet was released. Now there’s this fine two-CD set, recorded in 2000. It features Berne plus two of his close associates, American trumpeter Herb Robertson and French guitarist Marc Ducret, performing his music along with a conductor and the 10-member Copenhagen Art Ensemble (CAE). MORE