Archived entries for jazz

My albums of the year

So, everyone is doing their top albums of the year.  I’m not sure I really listened to more than 10 albums this year (for real), but I can tell you the two albums I’ve listening to 3-10 times a week since I got them this year.

Cinema, Circus & Spaghetti: Sexmob Plays Fellini

Tim Berne’s Bloodcount: Unwound

I don’t want to make this post about myself, but I’d like to give some context as to show how much I love these albums. I can really only afford to buy 1-3 albums a month, if that. I don’t steal any albums or don’t really stream music from places like Rdio, Grooveshark, etc. I occasionally borrow old and/or out of print albums from friends, especially if they deem them to be extremely important. Sometimes I get music from the library. As such, my music collection is small.  Very small.  There are 40 CDs in my bookshelf right now and about 30 vinyl, and maybe about 20 digital albums I listen to regularly.  Because of this, and because my listening time is not unlimited, in order for something make it into my regular listening, it has to be something extremely special.

This year, I have had on repeat two things: Sexmob Plays Fellini and Bloodcount’s Unwound (3CD boxset). The Sexmob album came out in March, and The Bloodcount albums came out around 1994. The latter came to me as one of those “you haven’t heard this? You will love it, borrow it from me, I think it’s out of print” moments. (I have since found that it has been re-printed, and will get it as soon as I save enough,) Both albums bear immense and intense repeated listening. They are the two albums that I consistently go back and listen to.

Comparing them or saying which I like better would be like comparing apples and oranges, and so I won’t. Instead will tell you that I love them for completely different reasons. Moreso, I feel like it would be pointless to give a rundown of all the qualities I enjoy in these albums. This is art that’s too good for my feeble words.

What I will say about the Sexmob album is that it is a masterfully arranged, executed, recorded and mastered album. It’s a work of art, and feels like magic. Everything is in its place and more. I have the vinyl and it’s phenomenal.

(Buy it from the label here)

As for Bloodcount’s Unwound, there is kind of a “you have to hear it to believe it” quality to their music. They’re live recordings, some of which were done on minidisc in the club in which they were playing. It’s an incredible tour de force to listen to these tracks, and sometimes I wonder what band has a right to sound so incredible live. This is music that’s contending for a place in history.

(Buy it here, I will soon)

I really really really hope that these recommendations mean something to you and that you find a way to buy this music, and listen to it. Maybe you have some extra christmas money? These artists deserve that you buy their albums. Steven Bernstein recently said in an interview that he didn’t think Sexmob would ever make another record – because there’s such limited financial support (from consumers and gov’t and economy etc..) in the States. Tim Berne has said that he has to make twice as many albums a year to make the same amount of money than ten years ago. His reasoning is that people aren’t buying like they used to (they’re downloading and streaming) and many assume that because he’s recognized that he must be making money.

This music is worth the money. Drink 3 less beers out this week, and maybe one less latté out.

Word up word up.



New CP4 Album and EP

New CP4 album and EP:

I’m happy to announce that the Craig Pedersen Quartet has received a small grant from the City of Ottawa to record our second full-length album. I anticipate releasing it spring 2014. However, our short 4 track EP, Why Paint at All? will be released this fall, coinciding with Montreal’s OFF Festival. It will be digital only, sold with hand-painted art-cards (unless some wonderful patron is interested paying for a 7-inch vinyl release…).

Upcoming gigs:

As I’ve been preparing to move to Montreal in September, the quartet has yet again gone quiet. HOWEVER, I’m happy to announce that we’ll be playing a great show in Montreal in October: The Montreall OFF Jazz Festival!

free: craig pedersen sampler


Announcing the craig pedersen sampler. 6 tracks from my last 6 albums, for free download in any format of your choice! Have a listen below or download it at

If you like any of the music, please consider buying the albums! You’ll find the digital albums VERY affordable around $7/ea, both at Bandcamp and iTunes!


Montreal TONIGHT (June 30)

Hi All –

The Craig Pedersen Quartet plays at Resonance Café in Montréal tonight at 9pm.

Here’s the FB event:

5175A Avenue du Parc.




Days Like Today now on iTunes!

Hi all —

Just a note that days like today is now officially up on iTunes.  There are now three ways to buy it online –  iTunes, Bandcamp an CDbaby.

Buy on iTunes
Buy on Bandcamp
Buy on CDBaby


If you missed the album, here’s a little info:

#1 Jazz Album of 2012 – Earshot Online

The Craig Pedersen Quartet’s debut full-length album, Days Like Today is the follow-up to their much-acclaimed Early Winter EP. Inspired by the music of John Zorn, the AACM, Ornette Coleman, and Duke Ellington, the new album contains ten tracks of original music that walk the distance between approachable and challenging. Freewheeling, energetic, and just-a-little crazy, the music keeps you listening, thinking and on your toes.

Craig Pedersen – trumpet, composer
Linsey Wellman – alto saxophone
Joel Kerr – bass
Mike Essoudry – drums

recorded, mixed by Matt Ouimet (
mastered by Philip Shaw Bova (
album design by David Bosschaart, photographs by David Barbour

Reviews and media:

Free Jazz Blog
Monsieur Delire
Step Tempest
Culture Magazine
The Jazz Session with Jason Crane
Ottawa Jazz Scene

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