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Diverted Travels by Jon Balke & Magnetic North Orchestra

Keyboardist Jon Balke derives influences from a wide-ranging element of musical stylizations, spanning the globe. On his third ECM Records release with the Magnetic North Orchestra, he continues to spin a unique slant on the jazz idiom. Oddly enough, Balke’s unconventional harmonic textures, boasting gobs of contrasts and world music inspired rhythms, equate to a very tangible musical environment. Featuring longtime band-mate, trumpeter/vocalist Per Jergensen, and fellow Scandinavian artists, the octet creates quite a bit of depth during the body of these works. With this outing you’ll hear, African percussion grooves melded with ostinato strings movements, jazzy sax soloing and disparate tonalities, all rolled up into one neatly arranged package. Balke uses space as an important metric, yet also lifts a few innuendos from the Cecil Taylor school on occasion. Here, vast musical genres are disengaged via Balke’s meticulously engineered concepts. (Recommended listening.... )

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Jon Balke & Magnetic North Orchestra
  • CD Title: Diverted Travels
  • Genre: Other
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: ECM Records
  • Musicians: Per Jorgensen (trumpet & vocals), Frederik Lundin (bass, flute, tenor & soprano saxophones), Bjarte Elke (violin), Peter Spissky (violin), Thomas Pitt (bass violin), Jon Balke (piano & keyboards), Helge Andreas Norbakken (percussion), Ingar Zach (percussion)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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