Category Archives: Jazz

New guitar pedalboard

It took time, but our new guitar pedalboard is here! The board itself is a Trio28 from Temple Audio Design fitted with an IEC AC Mains Micro Module (left) and a 4-way Jack Patch Module (right), all from Temple Audio Design.

As far as the pedals are concerned, from upper left clock-wise:

  1. Triple custom pedal from JAM Pedals:
    • DelayLlama + (analog delay)
    • WaterFall (chorus)
    • TubeScreamer+ (overdrive)
  2. GOO Limited Edition designed by Nels Cline from ToneConcepts (distortion)
  3. Mel9 from Electro-Harmonix (mellotron)
  4. Mini EGO from Wampler (compressor)
  5. DVP4 Volume X Mini Pedal from Dunlop (volume and expression)
  6. Mini Modular Switcher Ver. 2 from LoopSwitchers (volume pedal switcher)
  7. SneakAttack from Malekko Heavy Industries (attack/decay envelope modulator and tremolo)
  8. Lil Buddy from Malekko Heavy Industries (tap switch for SneakAttack)
  9. DIG from Strymon (stereo dual digital delay)
  10. BlueSky from Strymon (stereo reverberator)
  11. DittoX4 from TC Electronic (stereo dual looper)

The signal chain is as follows: MiniEGO → Mel9 → SneakAttack → TubeScreamer+ → GOO → Volume X Mini → WaterFall → DelayLlama → DIG (stereo) → BlueSky (stereo) → DittoX4 (stereo). The board is powered with a DC10 from CIOKS, fitted on the under side of the board (underneath the GOO). The AUX output  of the DVP4  (loose plug in the picture above) can be connected to the EXP input of the DIG. The switcher is used to by-pass the volume pedal, allowing it to function as expression control. The stereo output of the  DittoX4 goes to the 4-way Jack Patch Module (right). The right channel is connected to our trusty CUBE 80GX from Roland, while the left channel goes into our brand-new Fender Blues Junior III Woody Tequila Limited Edition. But that is the stuff of a separate post…

Pedal frenzy (Part III): blueSky from Strymon


Another guitar effect pedal making its way into our pedal board, this is the blueSky reverberator from Strymon. To say that it’s absolutely stunning would be an understatement. Lush, gorgeous reverb that can go to infinity.

Here a small sample introducing  the “mod” mode with infinite reverb morphing into Mingus’ Goodbye Pork Pie Hat and a crazy looped overdrive.

Pedal frenzy (Part II): Sneak Attack from Malekko

796d8bcc-8d1a-4ef7-9424-f05bccc0e217
Here is our newest guitar effect pedal, the Sneak Attack from Malekko Heavy Industries.

Sneak Attack is an auto-swell volume pedal that can also be manually triggered or used in a tremolo mode. The core of the pedal is an Attack/Decay envelope generator with separate length and curve controls for both the attack and decay segments. The envelope can be triggered or cycled in several ways using the input signal, built in footswitch, Lil’ Buddy footswitch or external clock/click track.

This is unlike any effect pedal in that it does not change the sound of your guitar, but the shape of the sound form. A crazy little sound machine with huge possibilities that we will be digging deeply.

Namesake guitar… at last

IbanezPMIbanez guitar company first released the Pat Metheny PM200 model in March 2013. At the top of the Ibanez PM line (which also includes PM120 and PM20), the PM200 is a full-hollow body electric guitar featuring a mahogany set-in neck, maple top/back/sides, ebony fretboard, and a single Silent 58 humbucker neck pickup. It has been widely acclaimed for its rich tone, fantastic playability, and exceptional build quality.  After the acoustic Martin D35 (from 1983) and the cut-away nylon Ovation #1863 (from 1991), it was time for us to update.

Here is a quick sample of the PM200 sound through Roland’s 80W CUBE in Tweed mode with a bit of rev and delay; a beautiful arrangement by John McLaughlin of jazz standard My Foolish Heart (by Victor Young): 

A treasure trove for jazz lovers

Musica degradata

In its first year of existence, the music blog Musica degradata has already posted over 400 entries of rare live concerts and ripped vinyls from the whole spectrum of contemporary jazz. The blog is a special treat for ECM fans, as the posts include incredible performances from many of its artists during the golden years of the label. Most of the recordings have quite decent sound quality and can be downloaded through an external site. Well worth periodic visits and a subscription to its RSS feed.

Live Jazz Lounge blog celebrates first anniversary

Live Jazz Lounge blog celebrates its first anniversary featuring a solo piano concert by Brazilian composer and multi-instrumentalist Egberto Gismonti, recorded for Buenos Aires radio in 1981. A rare gem that few knew it existed.

Text from the Live Jazz Lounge anniversary post:

Live Jazz Lounge celebrates its first anniversary with a rare jewel from the bottom of the archives. In its first year, Live Jazz Lounge featured over 140 hours of music from 100 concerts by over 260 artists. It received over 43,000 visitors from 77 countries. Live Jazz Lounge only presents material that is freely accessible and not sold commercially. Live Jazz Lounge is a totally non-profit, commercial-free enterprise, fueled soley by the love for this great music. It has already received praise and gratitude from many of the featured artists. Thanks for visitng, and PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE: support these wonderful artists by purchasing their recordings. This can easily be done by clicking on the “Related recording” thumbnail. (Disclaimer: links are only provided for promotion of the artists’ work; Live Jazz Lounge makes no profit whatsoever from your purchase). Peace, love and jazz. /LJL

Live Jazz Lounge: unreleased recordings of live jazz from around the world

Music blog Live Jazz Lounge, launched January 2012, already has over 35 posts featuring unreleased live jazz concerts anywhere from Buenos Aires to New York to  Stockholm to London, with entries from the 1970s to the present. At the time of this writing, over 4,500 visitors have so far been on the site. In addition to concert info, the site provides links to purchase albums related to the featured concerts, and the site’s header features all original photographs from live jazz concerts.

 

Chronicle of a death foretold: Esbjörn Svensson’s premonitory reflections on death and the meaning of life

Pianist Esbjörn Svensson died suddenly, at the peak of his career, in a diving accident on June 14, 2008, 44 years of age. Here he makes a striking account of a previous close encounter with death and his personal reflections (audiofile in Swedish, Summer 2003).

It was as if I could see straight inside her. And she had made up her mind. I knew it. It was an unmistakable feeling. I then understood that I had to speak to her. If she is going to jump, I will have to stop her. And somehow, distract her attention. Slowly, I begin to move towards her. She stays very strategically placed, exactly at the exit of the tunel as the train approaches the platform. And a bit too close to the edge. I come closer to her. Very, very carefully. Slowly. I understand that it is incredibly sensitive. I do not think very much. I feel I would just like to distract her. I come closer, maybe 10 meters away from her. I hear that the train approaches. And I hear that she hears. She makes herself ready. I come even closer. Very slowly… Now I am just 3 meters from her. Then comes the train… and the woman jumps, straight in front of it. The train buzzes. People scream. Everything stops. And I stood 3 meters from her… But I turn around and run away… It’s too much. I don’t see what happens. There, in front of my eyes, a person has taken her life, straight out into something else. Something which we don’t know anything about. And I can’t just look anymore. I run. The police is coming. People all around is in desperation. But I walk away…”

“Why do we exist? What are we doing here? And what makes some of us live with the spark of life inside us, while others lose it totally, and jump out? Jump over the border, away from life. Away from reality and, hopefully, pain. To something else totally unknown. These are for me big, incomprehensible questions. And in that moment the woman jumped, it became clear for me that there is no answer. There is no logic controlling our lives. There are no package solutions. Each and everyone of us must find the answer on our own. It doesn’t matter if one does so with the help of music, love, Jesus or drugs. There must be something that pushes us forward. And that makes us want to continue breathing…

About death and the meaning of life: “What guarantee do we have that the future will come? That we will be able to experience it? We generally live in our Western society separated from death. We don’t think about it. Talk seldom about it. Suppress it preferably. But suddenly, it hits us. Close
or at a distance. But almost always with astonishing power. Everything stays put. And we suddenly experience our fragility, our loneliness, our total powerlessness in front of death. It pushes us to a corner. Force us to resignate to it. Death has all the power. And we float in a complete uncertainty about the future. We know nothing. We have no guarantees. Life can finish anytime.”

“What shall we do with this terrible knowledge? How shall we act in this meaningless battle against an opponent over whom we can never win? Many take refuge in religion. Where one can find some form of guarantee in the belief of that what religion offers. If we believe in religion, whichever that may be, we get at least a belief of what is to come after death. We can also pretend that we are immortal, and do in principle whatever we want, for money, and for the life that we expect to live, then when we can afford everything that we need to live a good life. But irrespectively of belief, money or social status, we can never be sure. Suddenly, it just stands there, beside us. A quick look over the shoulder, and we instinctively know who it is.”

“What we go through, what happens to us, that’s our life. My experience is that death can teach us to see what is important… That life is now.”

Pablo Marquez: Musica del Delphin (Luys de Narvaez 1580)

Ok, this not jazz, as it was written several centuries before jazz was invented, but it is a truly amazing recording nevertheless. Masterly interpretation of Luys de Narvaez “Seis libros del Delphín” by Argentine guitarist Pablo Marquez for the ECM label. Marquez got to choose 17 of the more than 40 pieces included in the “Seys libros” compendium. Originally published in 1538, the pices were composed for the vihuela, a predecessor of the modern guitar.Here Marquez skillfully demonstrates how rewarding these pieces can be even in a modern instrument. This impecable performance preserves the intimate, introspective character of the pieces. Timeless, beautiful music of a mystical nature. Pablo Marquez was born in the northwest of Argentina in 1967. He has played with bandoneonist Dino Saluzzi, cellist Anja Lechner, the Rosamunde Quartett and the Ensemble Alma Viva.

Audio files of two favorites, Diferencias sobre Conde Claros (libro VI, 1) and Segundo tono (libro I, 2) appear below.