Places of Worship signals trumpeter and composer Arve Henriksen's return to Rune Grammophon and furthers his collaboration with both Jan Bang and Erik Honoré. Here his experimentations with sound, space, and texture offer listening environments that reflect various sacred spaces the world over, hence its title. While these tracks are impossible to separate from the influences of Jon Hassell's Fourth World Music explorations or the more murky moodscapes of Nils Petter Molvær, they are also more than a few steps removed from them. Henriksen never separates himself from the environmental information provided by his natural Nordic landscape. The lush, wild, and open physical vistas of its geography provide an inner map for the trumpeter and vocalist that amounts to a deeply focused series of tone poems.
There have been countless attempts to counteract the inherently boring nature of the CD as an artefact and the approach adopted by Feral shapes up better than some on the strength of this first release, which takes some excellent music by saxophonist Iain Ballamy (in the company of three young Norwegian musicians) and packages it with a set of intriguing print artworks by Dave McKean in an elegant library case. On the other hand, we may now be so accustomed to the blandness of the format that any attempt to escape it seems like a distraction. While debating this, it's important not to forget to play the disc, which is quite remarkable and a far cry from Ballamy's formative years in the sprawling bloke-jazz outfit Loose Tubes. Recorded live at the Molde Jazz Festival in 1998, it's astounding that this music seems to date from the very beginning of Ballamy's association with these musicians, given their obvious level of empathy.
Luys i Luso – “Light from Light” – is Tigran Hamasyan’s first ECM album, a spellbinding exploration of Armenian sacred music, featuring the prodigiously gifted pianist with the Yerevan State Chamber Choir. Repertoire includes Armenian hymns, sharakans and cantos from the 5th to the 20th century, all newly arranged for voices and improvising pianist by Hamasyan himself. The album was recorded in Yerevan last October, and produced by Manfred Eicher.
Tigran Hamasyan was born in Gyumri, Armenia, in 1987. Ely the age of 7 he was listening to jazz melodies and improvising on piano all day long. He began to study the art of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, Miles Davis and others, comprehending everything so fast and so deeply that he soon reached a high technique and unique jazz thinking. The First International Jazz Festival of Yerevan (held in 1998) opened a new stage in his creative life; the jazz community looked at him as a real discovery and he received invitations to play concerts and sessions. At the 2000 Festival, he became acquainted with jazz stars Chick Corea, Avishai Cohen, Jeff Ballard and An Roland; the following year he took part several festivals in France, where he played with Philip and Christophe Le Van and was introduced to Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin. Joe Zawinul, Danillo Perez and John Patitucci.