Umlaut Records is a Stockholm-based independent record label founded in 2004 for the express purpose of amplifying the stories of 'someone’. An Umlaut artist will always tell you something. Bare naked. Honestly speaking. Listen and you'll hear the conversation. Participate. Like it; hate it. It's easy.
Without limitations of putting out a certain "genre" of music, Umlaut Records is looking for honesty and meaning in all sounds made throughout the world. Umworld.
Changes or transformations of sound will be heard through the deep throat of Umlaut Records.
Niklas Barnö – trumpet
Devin Gray – drums
Joel Grip – double bass
Lars Åhlund – saxophones
Three Swedes and an American bring borderless music of an uncanny kind to ears alive. Crossing genres, blending free jazz and European folk music, the Pirates are a high-energy collective bent on domination of the seas or a busted dingy -- whichever comes first. Devin Gray's propelling skins ebb, sway, stagger, and tumble; Joel Grip's woody double bass creaks and moans and pummels buffeted like a tall ship caught in a gale; Niklas Barno slices streaks of pilfered lightning via trumpet and lungs; and Lars Ahlund navigates a wary course through some major double-vision with a saxophone that quits for no man. Asked about their repertoire, bassist Joel Grip remarks, "It consists chiefly of original compositions assembled in such a manner as to allow for a complete openness for the generation of new variations and entirely new sections in the music at any given point." The result is live performances that are constantly shape-shifting, and man, do they cook! Inspired deeply by the folk tradition, THE JOLLY BOAT PIRATES use improvisation to tell stories. What makes the music so compelling is the extent to which the musicians extend their abilities to share their tales.
Eve Risser – piano
Yuko Oshima – drums
A monkey and a donkey a French-Japanese dynamite. Explosions in the gros drum, and the crying resonance, withheld in the in the piano, is chocked by the surprice! It's all mixed up. Walk, jump around, and stumble against these women who play what they please... They write songs with the influences of Rock-Jazz-Pop-Free-Contemporary. The piano is prepared, the drums are simple-hified... an echo of melodicas... Ssschttrrrwwwwaouuuuu!*!*!*! 0.1.2.3! Ich* Ni* San* Chi*!! Let¹s go! Now! No, ow, Ono, new oh! Go, got yet, yet YES! They improvise it appears, it disappears and chtrouiiiiink! Klang!! Wurscht!!!
Gary Thomas – saxophone
Joel Grip – double bass
Devin Gray – durms
Tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, a Baltimore native, eats melodies for lunch. With the confidence of a master musician, Thomas stakes out new melodic territory along the vast topography of thier record’s urgent rhythms. Thomas has a grainy, sinewy, and hard-edged saxophone sound that has been compared with Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, and Joe Henderson. Coming to prominence in the mid 1980's as a member of the Miles Davis Band, Thomas became a vital member of Jack DeJohnette's Special Edition where he played alongside fellow saxophonist Greg Osby. Most recently he toured with the Herbie Hancock Quartet. Thomas’ sound is bolstered and propelled by Swedish bassist Joel Grip and drummer Devin Gray, a New Englander. Grip and Gray bob and jab their way through the record’s raucous rhythms. At times, Grip’s fat contrabass follows Thomas’ sax through singing melodies; at other times, his sound becomes transparent and fractured – it disintegrates into the rhythm of Gray’s flashes of percussive brilliance and then rises up again like a great whale bursting through the throbbing breaks of a musical ocean. The music is dark and lyrical, reminiscent of the early free jazz, though assimilated with a very modern approach to improvisation; this is the key to the CORPULENT sound. The sincerity is evident in every note, rhythm, and articulation.