Press

Press

John Lindberg is known for two particularities: he’s one of the most exquisite double bassists around for some decades already and each one of his projects, be it a studio recording or a concert, is a meticulous and wonderfully sustained concept, always with a motto or a theme transcending musical subjects, generally concerning nature or the human condition. His brand new “Born in an Urban Ruin” belongs to this last category: the mentioned «urban ruin» is the Detroit Osteopathic Hospital, where he was born in 1959. You can’t get more symbolic than with this combination of two opposed factors, “birth” and “decadence.” If there’s in this collection of compositions a «post-industrial rust belt aesthetic», to use Lindberg’s own words, the perspective is positive and full of hope – the music is all about survival, «it’s endurance, it’s the spirit emerging forever triumphant». You can resurrect on a ruin, and when this idea is staged by someone like John Lindberg, with the help of clarinetist Wendell Harrison and of vibraphonist and percussionist Kevin Norton, that process can only be a beautiful one. A tribute in three parts to the late Roy Campbell is included, because the great jazz trumpeter is still among us and, after all, this CD is an ode to life. – Rui Eduardo Paes
View full press release: John Lindberg BC3-Born in an Urban Ruin

Western Edges” follows a principle: «Music is mystery. To be left unsolved, yet fully absorbed.» Inspired by nature, double bassist and composer John Lindberg and his two companions in the Raptor Trio, Pablo Calogero and Joe LaBarbera, manage to bend the sounds at their will, being the extraordinary musicians they are, but keeping the music mysterious from start to finish, letting it emanate entirely «from the heart» and making the point to play it in a «visceral manner», while «engendering flights into the ether and that which is beyond all understanding», as Lindberg himself writes in the liner notes of the CD. You don’t usually associate a strong emotional drive to the West Coast sound adopted in this recording, but John Lindberg never does what is expected of any format he happens to choose. That’s why he’s such a singular musician on the scene – he keeps surprising us, opening new doors, «riding the thermals, unimpeded, free and majestic». A must have, must listen opus, once again. – Rui Eduardo Paes
View full press release: John Lindberg Raptor Trio-Western Edges

More Quotes

One of John Lindberg’s most enduring distinctions is that he demonstrates how much having fun could and should be central to modern jazz dynamics. It seems Lindberg is one of the few bassists who actively pursues this emanations of Charles Mingus’ smile.- Down Beat

Bassist John Lindberg is an unheralded master if there ever was one…a consistently imaginative composer-arranger and a virtuoso instrumentalist, he is also a leader of stellar bands.  – Worcester Phoenix

The bassist has injected a certain abondon into more familiar musical styles and come up with one of the most invigorating mixes around.  Watch out if the kids get wind of what Lindberg is doing!  – Musica

Lindberg maintains both a drive and rare sense of fun to his music.- Option

Lindberg originals are smartly written, full of humor and played with insouciance…good music is good music, regardless of the technique used to make it, or the label the industry puts on it.  – Arts & Entertainment

The vision behind The Great Lakes Suite is all Smiths and a solid addition to his ample legacy, but Threadgill, Lindberg and DeJohnette add to that legacy simply by living up to theirs.  – S. Victor Aaron, Something Else!

Lindberg is one of the most impressive bassists playing in the arco style (using his bow).- Jason Crane, Step Tempest

Right off the bat, “Lake Michigan” finds DeJohnette stirring an explosive potinteracting in precise alchemy with Lindberg’s roaring arco; throughout this album they are a potent team that transcend the standard concept of “rhythm section” exponentially. Many years of playing together have solidified the chemistry of Smith and Lindberg, and their close communication on the intro to “Lake Huron” sets a dramatic stage for Threadgill’s architecturally sound essay which survives the relentless onslaught of Dejohnette’s traps fully intact. – Robert Bush, AllAboutJazz

As with his solo work, Smith’s writing makes telling use of silencedespite otherwise densely marshaled ensembles being awash with spontaneous detail. The trumpeter and long time colleague John Lindberg, are the principal soloists, with the drama and precision of the bassist’s slashing bow work on “Mount Kilimanjaro” being one of the set’s highlights.  – John Sharpe, AllAboutJazz

One of John Lindberg’s most enduring distinctions is that he demonstrates how much having fun could and should be central to modern jazz dynamics. It seems Lindberg is one of the few bassists who actively pursues this emanations of Charles Mingus’ smile. – Aaron Cohen, DownBeat

It’s somehow comforting to know that John Lindberg is still playing, still recording, still there. The bassist has injected a certain abandon into more familiar musical styles and come up with one of the most invigorating mixes around. Watch out if the kids get wind of what Lindberg is doing. – Jeff Morris, Musica

Lindberg maintains both a drive and rare sense of fun to his music.- Option

The pairing of bassist John Lindberg and drummer Ed Thigpen seems strange at first blush. For seven years beginning in 1959, Thigpen, known as “Mr. Taste,” anchored the very best Oscar Peterson Trio. Lindberg, born in 1959, is a resolute modernist, squarely in the circle of avant-gardists. Lindberg originals are smartly written, full of humor and played with insouciance. Ed Thigpen is the personification of what Mary Lou Williams, Steve Lacy and others have tried to teach us: that good music is good music, regardless of the technique used to make it, or the label the industry puts on it. . – Glenn Siegel, Arts & Entertainment

Lindberg is well respected in the closed but fertile scene he inhabits, but this album should find him the sort of expanded audience his talent deserves. A writer of engaging and enjoyable melodies, it is a shame that wider exposure has eluded him for so long.  – Troy Collins

John Lindberg is a deep musician. In almost forty recordings as leader or co-leader, he has assembled some of the most interesting collections of great players you will ever find. Some of his so-called sidemen have included trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, drummers Andrew Cyrille and Ed Thigpen, the recently departed Albert Mangelsdorff, and Steve Lacy. Probably what intrigues such important musicians enough to play with Lindberg is that his compositions are not only interesting, but they communicate emotion. His rhythms and melodies bring out happiness, sadness, humour, and more.  – Francis Lo Kee

Lindberg also has an impressive list of solo projects to his credit. This latest brings him together with the redoubtable jazz drummer Ed Thigpen, trumpeter Dave Douglas and saxophonist Larry Ochs. The album’s title hints at Lindberg’s inclinations: his compositions, often angular and melodically abstract, always bounce, whether with a swing beat, a march or a hint of a funky third line. Throughout, Lindberg maintains both a drive and a rare sense of fun to his music. Add the fact that Thigpen is rarely heard in a non-mainstream context and this CD becomes one of the jazz treats of the year  – John Baxter, Option

It’s somehow comforting to know that John Lindberg is still playing, still recording, still there. The bassist has injected a certain abandon into more familiar musical styles and come up with one of the most invigorating mixes around. Watch out if the kids get wind of what Lindberg is doing. -Jeff Morris, Musica

In his excellent liner notes, Lindberg calls his approach to composition and improvisation “relaxed enthusiasm.” Nicely put. Catch it on the bounce. It feels good.  – Paul de Barros, All About Jazz

Seven compositions joined together in a suite form this CD, honoring two idiosyncratic American classical composers, Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Charles Ives) but featuring — not surprisingly — jazz players rather than members of the so-called serious music fraternity.
What do you expect? While classical snobs’ abhorrence of jazz as mere popular music is well known and exists to this day, the symphonic establishment has also never been particularly welcoming to visionary composers, especially of the non-European variety.
Thus it takes bassist John Lindberg to create music that honors his compositional and performance forefathers. Jazz inflections vie with classical virtuosity here, and true to musical miscegenation of North American sounds, Lindberg and company amplifies the pieces with Indian bansuri flutes, Chinese gongs and the Philippine kulintang.  -Ken Waxman

In his excellent liner notes, Lindberg calls his approach to composition and improvisation “relaxed enthusiasm.” Nicely put. Catch it on the bounce. It feels good. – Paul de Barros, All About Jazz

Everything is rendered in a spotless sound that parallels the standard set by ECM, but without the cathedral-like austerity that so often plagues that label. Lindberg’s long been an improvisatory light deserving of a far broader and brighter beam in the public sphere. With luck, this disc will shine on a wider audience than his past work for Black Saint and translate into future conclaves for this stellar band. Ives and Gottschalk are almost certainly smiling down from their heavenly perches, pleased by the attention paid.   – Derek Taylor, Dusted

Ironically enough though, these exceptional pieces of notated composition for string quintet come from a youngish improviser, who probably has less academic training than most contemporary jazz musicians. Unlike his university-educated confreres, bassist John Lindberg dropped out of school in Grade 10 to get that much more quickly into the jazz life. But in a classic instance of learning on the job, Lindberg’s more than 30 years of playing experience with folks as varied as mainstream drummer Ed Thigpen, ROVA saxophonist Larry Ochs and composer/instrumentalists like Wadada Leo Smith and Anthony Braxton have served him well on this disc.
Written in 1986, when he was 27, to celebrate the birth of his first son, “The Arrival”, in three parts, is obviously an apprenticeship composition, showing the bassist feeling his way into the idiom. Programmatic, “Caught” and “Suspend”, the first two sections, build up tension with contrast between the higher-pitched strings, whose arco strokes and pizzicato plucks reflect modern, dissonant classicism and the unfettered interjections of the bassist. Coming across like a modern day Pops Foster (1892-1969), whose slap style powered Louis Armstrong’s aggregations among others, Lindberg moves up and down his instrument, using its percussive elements as a musical mirror of anxiety. Finally, in part three, “Land”, whining prestissimo strings meld with the bassist’s sonorous plucking. The well-modulated unison line tosses motifs and counter motifs back and forth until it reaches a crescendo in the coda.””Composed expressly in 2001 for this CD, “Basement of Desires” is a musical reflection of a list of things he wanted to alter in his life that Lindberg first wrote down in 1997. The four parts of the suite symbolize the “deep emotions, turmoil, exuberance, heartache and design” that went into both its creation and the yearning for those changes. Sounding more assured than with the first composition, Lindberg takes more of a dominant role here, with the others — at least in the beginning — serving more as a Greek chorus to his expressed concerns, then functioning on their own.
No Third-Stream bagatelle, TWO BY FIVE is instead a masterly exhibition of how to create a memorable composed work with improv overtones. Other recent CDs have shown how well Lindberg bends the jazz idiom to his needs. This session confirms that he can do the same with other modern material.- Ken Waxman. Jazzweekly

The session is mysterious and haunting, which much emphasis on space, timbre and dynamics. A Tree Frog Tonality gets richer and more enjoyable with each listen.  – Alan Lankin

With A Tree Frog Tonality, it becomes easily discernible that we are listening to a union of seasoned modern jazz experts who demonstrate their respective crafts with cunning artistry and inspiring resolve. Bassist John Lindberg is arguably one of the finest acoustic bassists on this modern jazz globe as his credits and resume reads like an unending shopping list. On this new release, Lindberg performs with his peers under the moniker of the John Lindberg Ensemble for a radiant set emanating from studio sessions recorded in March 2000 during a European tour.- Glenn Astarita

TRILOGY OF WORKS FOR ELEVEN INSTRUMENTALISTS must be considered Lindberg’s most ambitious statement. Under the direction of influential reedman/composer Anthony Braxton, the movements are intense, cinematic, constantly changing. One can’t help but be reminded of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, where characters are represented by certain themes and instruments – hear the opening “Holler” with its clipped exchanges between piccolo, low-register piano, clarinet and the rest and then try to forget the comparison.
Ragin makes a return appearance, but this time the likes of pianist Eric Watson, trombonist Ray Anderson and – the real dark horse of the date – baritone saxophonist Pablo Calogero (whose towering presence holds “Holler” together) dominate. TRILOGY relies heavily on contrast – ensemble passages punctuated by brief duo and trio sections. These provide the work’s most breathtaking moments – Anderson and tenor saxophonist J.D. Parran setting a surprising groove on “m to M” or the spontaneously rampaging trio passage in “Dresden Moods” between the bassist, Alan Jaffe’s guitar and Thurman Barker on xylophone are but two examples.
Lindberg’s generous liner notes go a long way to guiding the listener through his sprawling musical maze. It’s a satisfying, somewhat exhausting but altogether worthwhile trek. satisfying, somewhat exhausting but altogether worthwhile trek. – Jeff Morris, 52nd Street