Other news: BJU, JazzTimes, ...


In between nice new reviews of 'So Many Roads' - yes, there is also one in JazzTimes in August and a couple of others coming in just now - I'd like to remind you that the Brooklyn Jazz Underground is releasing our 2nd collective album in August. We have CD release shows during our annual festival in NYC, on Agu 14th, 9:30 pm at Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, and at An Die Musik, Baltimore, on Aug 15th, 8 & 9:30 pm. 

During the BJU festval I will be playing with my quartet on Aug 12th, 8:35pm, at Smalls, where also 4 other BJU bandleaders will perform with their groups. A strong encouragement from me to come and check that out, it will be a great, great evening!!

'So Many Roads' 4 ½ stars in Downbeat


This week two new nice reviews came in for Double Life.  One of Denmarks largest papers, 'Politiken' printed a great review which you can read here - calling the production and the project for 'a beautiful realization of ideas' and compliments both the compositional integration of the jazz group and the string quartet, and the excellent execution of the music by both sections of the group.  

Then I also received a review which will print in the August edition of Downbeat. I am not posting that quite yet, but I am really happy about it. We got 4 1/2 stars, and the music is described as a 'life-affirming suite' and a 'tune-rich, 36-minute suite in which jazz and classical elements are beautifully in sync'. 

Press about 'So Many Roads'

Read more..."Highly and wildly creative" - Midwest Records

"The two ensembles are complementary and well-integrated into textures used to delineate moods that are sometimes lively and devil-may-care, sometimes brooding and reflective." - Jay Harvey Upstage

'Recommended release' - by David R. Adler, New York City Jazz Records

"Smart arrangements that blend the 2 [Anne Mette Iversen Quintet and the string quartet 4Corners] ensembles, strong solos and ensemble playing from the Quintet, and, as one has come to expect, thoroughly involving melodies." - Step Tempest



GO GET IT TODAY - or tomorrow, or the day after. But don't wait any longer!

Double Life's new album SO MANY ROADS is available now. Here at this site, at bjurecords.com and all digital outlets. The first review from AllAboutJazz.com was great. Here a few quotes: "Iversen is able to create something magical, juxtaposing ideas, themes, personalities, and moods against one another." & "It's a wonderful example of art reflecting life.  Read the full review here

SO MANY ROADS press release


Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records Announces The Release of SO MANY ROADS, 

the Grand New Recording from Bassist/Composer Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life


Featuring:  Anne Mette Iversen (acoustic bass, compositions), John Ellis (soprano & tenor saxophone), Peter Dahlgren (trombone), Danny Grissett (piano), Otis Brown III (drums)


4Corners - Tine RudloffSarah McClelland (violin), Anne Soren (viola), Mats Larsson (cello)


So Many Roads, the grand new album from bassist/composer Anne Mette Iversen's Double Life, to be released on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records on April 22, is a very personal recording for Iversen.  The artist explains, "Its conception and realisation has been a long journey.  Along the road I had many ideas about how to present it to you: which story to tell you, which words to describe it with and which pictures to paint in your head.  In the end, I rejected them all to let the music speak for itself, and, hopefully, to leave space for it to become your own personal journey."  

The music on So Many Roads has the ability to conjure up and provoke emotions, feelings and vivid images.  In a word, it is picturesque.  Good art transforms within the listener, viewer or reader, to become a deeply personal experience and bring them on a journey as well.  "It is my hope that the art, the music, on this album is strong enough to give the listener an experience that sends them on their own personal journey; and therefore, in this context, my personal journey is irrelevant," commented Iversen. 

So Many Roads was composed specifically for Iversen's group Double Life, which consists of her long running quartet, the Anne Mette Iversen Quartet, featuring John Ellis (soprano & tenor saxophone), Danny Grissett (piano), Otis Brown III (drums & cymbals) and special guest, the outstanding Swedish trombonist Peter Dahlgren, of the Norrbotten Big Band (who also appeared on the bassist's very first recording, On the Other Side, ten years ago); plus, the string quartet, 4Corners, featuring members of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, who also appeared on Iversen's 2008 recording, Best of the West.

Iversen's band members always claim that the critically acclaimed bassist/composer has a quick turnaround time with her new recordings.  This may seem to be the case due to her unblinking dedication to her craft, her professionalism and her admirable skill at seeing a highly creative project through to accouchement.  However, So Many Roads has in fact been nearly five years in the making.  "I remember clearly when I first sat down and wrote the first notes in our apartment in Red Hook, Brooklyn.  It was the section that gave the thematic material which became the theme that connects the piece, and characterizes the entire musical journey," explained Iversen. 

So Many Roads"started out with the idea of being a journey through a mythological world, an imaginary description of travel and related experiences, but it ended up being so closely connected to my own personal life and actually describing a very special period and special experience of my life instead," said Iversen.  One could say that a journey, as a theme, has been a part of Iversen's music all along, but So Many Roads became both a premonition and a resolution to 57 months of her own life instead of some fantasy world.  "During the protracted period of creating this album, the subject matter quickly changed from the imaginary to reality!," said Iversen.

The music on So Many Roads is quite unique in that it utilizes a one-movement compositional form, and boasts an exquisite balance of integration and interaction between the string group and the jazz group.  Take note of the musicians’ excellent blend, and exchange of ideas and emotions.


The album opens with a solo bass statement (a way of leading the listener into the composer's universe), before the presentation of the main theme, which comes fully orchestrated and lush, and sets up the framework for the piece.  Out of the main theme grows new themes and songs with their own identities, orchestrated in various ways by selected combinations of the musicians from the jazz quintet and the string quartet.  One example is the lovely ballad, indicated on the physical disc by Chapter Three, which is played by trombone, string quartet and drums.  The music is also characterised by the many transitional sections/elements that serve to connect the piece, but also reveal their own identity.  The evolution of the music throughout the album takes you through states of uncertainty, peace, fun, beauty, stress, running the emotional gamut, similar to what one experiences in life. 

On So Many Roads, Iversen sought to strike a fine balance between improvisation and composition, and between the jazz quintet and the string quartet.  The jazz quintet leads by their expertise with improvising, but are also given important written ensemble parts, which they perform equally well.  Conversly, the classical string players contribute to the jazz sections with a deep understanding of phrasing and rhythm.  A wonderful example is the strings' interaction with Otis Brown III during his solo towards the end of the piece.  The carpet they provide for him is full of playfulness and humor, and reflects a strong sense of mutual respect and enjoyment inherent in these musicians’ collaboration, which is apparent on and off the stage/studio.

Iversen knows very well that these days details about an artist's life can be just as important to public perception and acceptance as the art itself, especially in pop-culture.  Fortunately within the jazz genre the fan is still a genuine lover of the music, so the attachment and devotion is very much about the music and the experience.  Iversen elaborates, "getting deep into something, in general, is rewarding.  But although there is plenty of expertise found in our societies today, I wonder how much in-depth study is being spent on art and music.  Understanding an art requires commitment and time, something not always easily found in our lives, but the reward for taking this time is high, and I strongly recommend it.  Therefore, I only hope that you will give it 36:31 focused minutes of your time, to go on a journey with us, and hopefully find it an emotional enriching experience."

Who would have thought!


So the last couple of months I have been composing 2 pieces of music for church organ. A new experience, and quite fun actually! And I've had to learn to play them as well, as they are to be premiered on March 23 at Christianskirken, in Berlin. Getting real good use of my old classical piano playing skills now!!!  If you want to listen from your bed, click here


New Album: So Many Roads


Now it is here - almost!

My new album So Many Roads, which we recorded with Double Life in the fall, is released online next week, February 18, and the physical street date is April 8. 

So Many Roads was, and is, a real journey! It is one long composition from beginning to end, although the printed copies will have 6 indexed tracks, for the listener to orientate between. 

I am really excited to get this music out. It is not a follow-up to Best of the West, it is it's totally own. The music grew out of my life, it does not have any philosophical idea behind it or theme to it, it is a description of real human experience(s), or a transformation of the same.

Check it out on the MUSIC page under Double Life, and pre-order a CD to secure your copy if you are curios.

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts about it!

Anne Mette 

The BJU Ensemble

Just back from Spain, where the BJU Ensemble had a GREAT tour, with concerts in Valencia, Madrid, Bilbao and Barcelona. We played the music from our album 'A Portrait of Brooklyn' and it was more than fun and rewarding, exciting and awesome, to see and hear the music develop and the band grow every night. And we got the impression we were not the only ones loving it:)

During the week we also gave a masterclass at Taller de Musics in Barcelona, and everywhere we got new freinds and are looking so much forward to the next time we go on the road, in Spain and to other countries in Europe. Planning is in the works and pictures up soon.

Keep checking in!


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