Christmas is coming…
3 December 2017: With Christmas less than a month away, a reminder that Fog Arts’ Silent Nights, the 2015 Xmas-inspired mini-album by Austrian saxophonist Ray Aichinger and Swedish pianist Mattias Nilsson, continues to be available on all good digital platforms worldwide. The seven-song reissue comes with a composition by Nilsson and Aichinger called Blue December, which was taken from their follow-up collaboration for the 2016 festive season, Peaceful In Dreams. This second album by the duo is being released in digital format today by European Jazz Records.
History Of Piano Jazz released
23 September 2017: Yesterday saw our reissue of Jan Lundgren’s History of Piano Jazz (2006) for worldwide streaming and downloading. For details, see the 15 September news story below, and you’ll find the artwork and liner notes from the original CD on this website here. It’s a wonderful album that fully captures all the excitement of a live performance, due in no small part to the expert way it was recorded by the legendary Gert Palmcrantz. Gert is reverred among audiophiles globally for his wizardry with microphones, having first come to attention for his skill as the sound engineer on the classic Swedish album from 1976, Jazz At The Pawnshop (Prophone).
You can stream History Of Piano Jazz on the usual platforms like Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play etc, and/or purchase a download from iTunes, Amazon and all other good downloaders everywhere.
Release date for Jan Lundgren’s History Of Piano Jazz
15 September 2017: Fog Arts is reissuing Jan Lundgren’s little-known History Of Piano Jazz on 22 September. It’s a very special recording of a live performance that Lundgren gave in Gustavsberg, east of the Swedish capital, back in 2006, at which he paid tribute to a host of legendary jazz piano masters, from Teddy Wilson through to Keith Jarrett.
The History CD was only ever available for purchase at this particular concert series across Sweden, never in record stores. What’s more, History is one of only three solo records that Lundgren has made in his long career. The other two – Man In The Fog (Bee Jazz, 2013) and All By Myself (Fresh Sound, 2014) – are both studio albums and, while you can still buy the latter, the former has been unavailable since the label went out of business at the end of 2014.
History Of Piano Jazz is an exquisite record that showcases all of Lundgren’s improvisational skill, warmth and in-depth knowledge of the Great American Songbook. As such, it represents an important milestone in his 20+ years of professional music-making.
Jazz At The Castle released
2 September 2017: Emil Viklicky Trio’s live concert in Prague with US trumpeter Marcus Printup, Jazz At The Castle (2007), was reissued by Fog Arts yesterday. You can stream or download it on all good digital platforms worldwide, including Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon and Spotify – the link for which you’ll find here. It’s the second Emil Viklicky reissue by Fog Arts, following our re-release of Live At The Box, Emil’s recording from 2011 with his trio at a private house in Germany.
Emil Viklicky’s trumpet summit
17 August 2017: Doug Ramsey, the American jazz journalist and blogger, posted a story yesterday on his Rifftides website about Emil Viklicky’s impromptu performances back in June when Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Printup and the Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra appeared in Prague (see our 22 June update below). Doug includes two videos of Emil, Marcus and his fellow trumpeter Greg Gisbert jamming at Reduta jazz club, together with an email from Emil that explains his next project with Wynton – who invited Viklicky on stage for a surprise number the following night when Marsalis and his colleagues played the Czech Philharmonic Hall (pictured). You can read Doug’s Rifftides piece here. Marcus Printup’s live collaboration with the Emil Viklicky Trio from 2007, Jazz At The Castle, will be digitally reissued by Fog Arts on 1 September 2017.
Release date for Jazz At The Castle
9 August 2017: Jazz At The Castle, a 2007 concert recorded in Prague by US trumpeter Marcus Printup with the Emil Viklicky Trio from the Czech Republic, will be digitally reissued by Fog Arts on 1 September for streaming and downloading worldwide. It’s an exciting live performance with both Marcus and Emil’s trio at the top of their game. The album features three Viklicky originals, a traditional Czech song, a version of Herbie Hancock’s Dolphin dance and the Edward Heyman classic, Body and soul. The full liner notes from the original CD are already avaliable on this website here.
RCS jazz improv winner announced
25 June 2017: Following on from our 14 June story, the winner of this year’s Fog Arts-sponsored Jazz Improvisation Prize at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is trombonist Liam Shortall. For examples of Liam’s work, check out his YouTube channel here. And have a listen to the mini-album below that he’s just released with his quartet, which comprises pianist Fergus McCreadie (winner of the Fog Arts jazz improv prize in 2016), bassist Conor Murray and drummer Greg Irons. The final track features vocals from Irini Arabatzi.
Viklicky, Marsalis and Printup
22 June 2017: Fog Arts’ Emil Viklicky, whose Live At The Box album we reissued last month, was joined on stage for a surprise jam at Reduta jazz club in Prague on Tuesday night (20 June) by the great Wynton Marsalis and Marcus Printup. Our photo shows Viklicky (right) with Marsalis and the Czech drummer Jirka Stivin.
Wynton and Marcus were in town for a Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra collaboration with the Czech Philharmonic. Marsalis is the Orchestra’s co-founder and artistic director, and Printup has been part of its horn section since 1993. Their connection with Viklicky includes The Mystery of Man (2004), an orchestral piece that Emil composed for the Wynton Marsalis Big Band based on the texts of Vaclav Havel, while Printup and Viklicky have performed together several times. An album of one such performance at Prague Castle in 2007, Jazz At The Castle, will be reissued by Fog Arts soon. In the meantime, you can watch a video snippet from Emil’s Tuesday-night jam with Wynton and Marcus here.
Jazz improvisation award
14 June 2017: For the second year running, Fog Arts is sponsoring the annual Jazz Improvisation Prize awarded by the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS). The prize is given to the student on RCS’s jazz course “who has made the most significant advancement in the pursuit of excellence within the realm of improvisation”, and is made at the discretion of the jazz faculty’s head, Tommy Smith (pictured). Easily one of Europe’s finest saxophonists and composers in the jazz idiom, Tommy is also the founder and director of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra, which ranks among the top contemporary big bands on the European scene.
The winner of the 2017 prize will be announced on 22 June. Last year’s recipient was the hugely talented pianist Fergus McCreadie, who can be seen here with his trio (David Bowden on bass and Stephen Henderson on drums) at the 2016 Edinburgh Jazz Festival. The piece they’re playing is an original composition by Fergus called Lough Beg.
10 June 2017: In another of his two-sentence reviews on Facebook, Jazz Flashes‘ Anton Garcia-Fernandez finds a lot in Fog Arts’ reissue of Emil Viklicky Trio’s Live At The Box that surprises and grows on the listener:
Svenska Landskap a “gem”
30 May 2017: Anton Garcia-Fernandez, publisher of the American jazz blog Jazz Flashes, has recently started posting two-sentence reviews on his personal Facebook page of the albums, both old and new, that he’s currently enjoying. Jan Lundgren Trio’s Svenska Landskap, which Fog Arts reissued on 5 May 2017, is the subject of Anton’s post today:
Emil Viklicky Trio’s Live At The Box released
26 May 2017: Live At The Box, Fog Arts’ first reissue of two live albums by the Czech pianist Emil Viklicky, is out today for streaming and downloading worldwide. Featuring Frantisek Uhlir on bass and Josef Vejvoda on drums, it’s a a 64-minute concert by the Emil Viklicky Trio from 2011, recorded at a private house in Germany. The bulk of the set is made up of original Viklicky compositions that reflect Emil’s deep-seated love for the folk music of Moravia, as well as a nod to Leos Janacek (Thank you, Laca) and the Evans-Livingston standard, Mona Lisa. The album’s artwork and liner notes can be found here.
Svenska Landskap out and reviewed
14 May 2017: Jan Lundgren Trio’s 2003 foray into the Swedish landscape, Svenksa Landskap, was reissued on Friday 5 May. It’s already received an enthusiastic review from the Tennessee-based blog, Jazz Flashes, which describes the album as a “masterful melding of jazz and Scandinavian folk music”. You can read the review here.
There’s more about Svenska Landskap‘s provenance coming soon at Jan Lundgren’s fansite, www.friendsofjanlundgren.com.
Emil Viklicky comes to Fog Arts
13 April 2017: We’re delighted to have obtained the digital rights to two wonderful albums featuring the great Czech pianist and composer Emil Viklicky: the first is Live At The Box (originally released in 2014), and the second is Marcus Printup & Emil Viklicky Trio (2007), which formed part of the vast Jazz At The Castle/Jazz Na Hrade series issued by the Prague-based label, Multisonic, between 2003 and 2013. Fog Arts is releasing Live At The Box on 26 May 2017, and the Printup-Viklicky album will follow soon afterwards.
Both recordings are very special. Live At The Box is an intimate but no-holds-barred live performance by the Emil Viklicky Trio at a private house in Germany in 2011, which centres around Emil’s jazz explorations of Moravian folk music. The second album is also a live recording, in which Emil and his trio join forces with the fabulous American trumpeter Marcus Printup to play a selection of standards and Viklicky originals. This 2007 concert at Prague Castle was hosted by the then-president of the Czech Republic, Vaclav Klaus, who is an ardent jazz fan with a particular affinity for hard bop.
Here’s the Emil Viklicky Trio (in a different line-up) at a recent concert in the US, playing the song Wine, oh wine, which features on Live At The Box:
For Listeners Only released
13 January 2017: Today sees the reissue by Fog Arts of Jan Lundgren Trio’s For Listeners Only on all major digital platforms worldwide for streaming and downloading. The album consists of eight original compositions by Lundgren, plus a ninth by the Trio’s bassist, Mattias Svensson. Rasmus Kihlberg is on drums. For Listeners Only was recorded at Copenhagen’s Sun Studio in December 2000, and was originally released by Sittel in the spring of 2001 on the same day as Jan Lundgren Trio Plays The Music Of Victor Young (reissued by Fog Arts on 23 September 2016).
Silent Nights now out
25 November 2016: Silent Nights, the 2015 Christmas-inspired mini-album by Austrian saxophonist Ray Aichinger and Swedish pianist Mattias Nilsson, is now available on all good digital platforms worldwide. The seven-song reissue comes with a brand new composition by Nilsson and Aichinger called Blue December, which has been taken from their follow-up collaboration for the 2016 festive season, Peaceful In Dreams. The duo’s new album will be released in early December by European Jazz Records in CD format only.
Lundgren reissues discussed
15 November 2016: There’s a new podcast discussion with Tennessee-based Anton Garcia-Fernandez, publisher of the Jazz Flashes and The Vintage Bandstand blogs, about Fog Arts’ first three Jan Lundgren digital reissues: Jan Lundgren Trio Plays The Music Of Victor Young: Jan Lundgren Trio Plays The Music Of Jule Styne; and Something To Live For.