5x jazz travel albums: from Karl Seglem to Sanne Sanne

As a music journalist for Jazzism and Pianist, I am surrounded by new releases and that is why I would like to share five favorite recent jazz travel albums that merge nature, travel and music. Attention for Karl Seglem, Vivienne Aerts, Tico Pierhagen, Fie Schouten and Sanne Sanne.

Text: Angelique van Os

1. Karl Seglem – Mytevegar & Ei Aing Grønt

The Norwegian saxophonist, goathornist and composer Karl Seglem has been performing folklore and hymns for years and adventurous jazz together, inspired by the rugged Norwegian nature. On his latest album, Mytevegar, traditional myths and reality come together. Ei Aning Grønt (A Sense of Green) ishis 41st record and it refers to various elements; from the color green to the association with nature and the climate. Intriguing music with its own unique sound and if you close your eyes you will easily imagine yourself among the fjords and vast plains.

Also read the article I wrote about him in Newspaper from Earth.


2. Vivienne Aerts – Typuhthâng

Song from the album Typhuthuâng.

The originally Dutch vocalist Vivienne Aertshas lived in New York for years. Last spring she released the extensive album Typuthâng out. You may think it’s old news, but this is too good a project not to mention.

100 female musicians

Because Aerts is following up the record by sharing monthly podcasts on Spotify with various guests who played on this ambitious album. Typuhthâng (pronounced Typ of thing) is a musical exchange with 100 (!) female musicians and makers from all over the world, who support the female cocoa farmers of Virunga State Park, Congo. From the Netherlands, players including Hermine Deurloo, Susanne Alt en Maria Mendes along.

Original Beans Chocolate

By teaming up with Original Beans Chocolate and forming a collective female voice, highlights Aerts the importance of sustainability in agriculture, as well as how women can be empowered within the workforce.

Femmes de Virunga

The Femmes de Virunga are a cocoa farming collective of 1,500 women in the Democratic Republic of Congo, founded in 2008 by Original Beans. With this initiative, they gave women the tools to overcome the extreme hardship caused by the unstable political conditions in Congo.

Anyone who purchases the CD or vinyl will receive a beautifully designed booklet about the project and of course a bar of fair trade chocolate produced by the Femmes de Virunga. You also contribute to planting new cocoa trees. How cool is that!


3. Tico Y Aguabajo – Danzando

Pianist and composer Tico Pierhagen (Pasto, 1975) grew up in the Netherlands, but is originally from Colombia. Since 2008 he has regularly visited his home country, where he discovered his (musical) family and has therefore developed his own musical signature in recent years. His latest album entitled Danzando, is a continuation of his previous works but presented as a new concept. The focus of this record is on compact songs and more danceable funk-oriented music.

Under his band name Tico Y Aguabajo the keyboardist combines danceable Colombian Latin for the first time rhythms, such as cumbia and clave (a continuous rhythmic pattern), with Western influences à la James Brown and Maceo Parker. Add energetic brass themes and cheerful percussion, and a unique sound is born. Pierhagen works with both Dutch and Colombian musicians; with special guests percussionist Samuel Torres and vocalist/percussionist Gianna Tam.

Read my interview with Tico in Krant van de Aarde.

Tico & Gianna Tam | Foto: Raoul Neijhorst

Tico Y Aguabajo can be seen on April 18 in Patronaat (Haarlem), April 28 in Metropool (Hengelo) and June 8 at Waddensea Jazz.

4. Fie Schouten – VOSTOK Remote Islands

VOSTOK Remote Islands are inspired by a book by Judith Schalansky from 2009: The Atlas of Remote Islands. Fifty islands that I have never been to and never will. An interesting fact. Together with her trio, consisting of Vincent Courtois on cello and Guus Janssen on keyboards, Schouten brings atmospheric, improvised and experimental music that is all about exploration and imagination. Flora and fauna come to life. You can almost hear the sea and waves lapping. Nothing is fixed and all impressions are new.

Unreachable world

The music simultaneously exudes a certain degree of inaccessibility, longing and entering a wonderful, unknown world. The trio embarks on the adventure of the islands with rich sounds and full of emotion. These elements form the connection with Schalansky’s book and the dream about remote islands only becomes greater after listening to this interplay. Every improvised piece on Vostok: Remote Islands sounds like its own island, inhabited or uninhabited.

5. Sanne Sanne – Mountain Child

Her recordMountain Child (Zennez Records) has been out for a while, but it is still worth mentioning, because the Dutch vocalist and percussionist Sanne Sanne (Sanne Huijbrechts) brings fairytale and adventurous songs with her clear voice and idiosyncratic percussion playing. She temporarily exchanged her busy life in Amsterdam for the silence, emptiness and beauty of the European mountains where she spent many walking holidays as a child. With a kalimba (thumb piano) in her pocket, she almost wrote the basis for her record Mountain Child, which is about the search for freedom, adulthood and community.

Read more about jazz travel and art in Section Culture Road.


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