Various ‎– Formation 60

CD, Compilation



Modern jazz from Eastern Germany - AMIGA 1957-69

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  • Barcode: 4018289000563

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August 23, 2016
edited over 2 years ago

Slightly off-kilter, and pleasantly so, Formation 60 was compiled by Jazzanova, representing a unique blend of Latin influenced bossa induced bop, jazz waltzes and other swinging numbers from the former German Democratic Republic … of all places. I know this sounds unbelievable, but European jazz was and is far more reaching in scope and depth than most people, even jazz aficionados, have ever dared to dream. The work found here is ambitious, possessing a lyrical language that is rewarding, seeming almost designed to exist in the moment, as if these artists had an inkling that their sound was being presented for those in attendance, while perhaps dreaming that the curtains would one day be pulled back to shed a bit of light onto what was happening in parts of the world that for many years were shrouded in mystery.

I’ve seen this collection, featuring a variety of talented artists, described as "clever," which brings a smile to my face, as such a simplistic description of something so entirely fresh and unheard before, could ever be so matter of factly labeled, when the truth of the matter is that each number presents a different theme, a different atmosphere, a different connection and relation to what we have all come to expect from the genre of jazz.

The production is warm and expansive, with an almost a monaural effect, meaning that it is full-bodied, rich and centered … without the need for stereophonic effects which would contribute little to talent of these musicians, or the notes they string together, creating an experience you won’t quiet see until the music is over, and you come face to face with one of those rare ah-ha moments.

Review by Jenell Kesler