February 22, 2012
A new Latvian jazz compilation, entitled Jazz in Latvia 2012, has been released by Mūsdienu mūzikas centrs (Contemporary Music Centre), which also organizes the yearly Rīgas ritmi jazz festival.
Featuring a number of well-known Latvian jazz musicians, the compilation collects nine performances ranging from jazz standards such as Thelonious Monk’s “Rhythm-a-ning” performed by 3Stick, to “Valse Melanholique” performed by the Māris Briežkalns Quintet. The latter, an arrangement of Latvian classical composer Emils Dārziņš‘s “Melanholiskais valsis,” was recorded at the world renowned Blue Note Jazz Club in New York.
Tracks on the album include:
- “Valse Melanholique” performed by Māris Briežkalns Quintet, featuring Chris Potter and Brian Lynch
- “Dancer” performed by North by Northeast
- “Goodbye Pork Pie Hat” performed by the Evilena Protektore Group
- “Life Changes” performed by Silvesteri Orkesteri
- “Room” performed by DPTrio
- “Before” performed by Add Libitum
- “Lyshuskvaedi” performed by Mirage Octet
- “Rhythm-a-ning” performed by 3Stick
- “Summer and Winter” performed by City Jazz Big Band
This year, the Rīgas ritmi festival will take place from July 3-7 and will feature some of the ensembles performing on the album.
Egils Kaljo is an American-born Latvian from the New York area who lives in Rīga, Latvia. When not working in the information technology field, he sings in the Latvian Academy of Culture mixed choir Sõla, does occasional translation work, and has been known to sing and play guitar at the Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs in Old Rīga. Kaljo began listening to Latvian music as soon as he was able to put a record on a record player, and still has old Bellacord 78 rpm records lying around somewhere.