On this 2001 album, Norwegian pianist/composer/producer Bugge Wesseltoft further refines his concept of 'the new conception of jazz'. Having started out playing stereotypically Nordic ECM-style jazz, Bugge (pronounced 'Boogie') formed the jazzland label and brought out several records in a new, experimental jazz style that fused elements of electronic music with traditional jazz instrumentation to excellent effect.
Although pianist Chucho Valdes starts things off with a precise and danceable interpretation of Ernesto Lecuona's "La Comparsa" on New Conceptions, the classical and operatic themes explored on 2002's Fantasia Cubana: Variations on Classical Themes are largely implied this time around. Valdes is a superb classically trained technician with a lush ear for harmony. This, combined with an expansive knowledge of the jazz "tradition," allows him to craft solos that often touch on both late-era John Coltrane and the elegant athleticism of Art Tatum. He brings all sides to bear here on works by Miles Davis and Duke Ellington as well as some original compositions.
Masters Of American Music The Story Of Jazz may be the most concise informative documentary on jazz to date. Five discs consisting of six and a half hours of material is presented in concise, informative segments. Comparisons to Ken Burns Jazz are inevitable, but unnecessary. This documentary combines extremely rare footage of performances and interviews to analyze the evolution of jazz and highlight four of its icons. Originally a television 'mini-series', the release of this limited edition digitally re-mastered set is good news for the world of jazz.