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A European Christmas
Wednesday, December 20th, 2017
7:00 PM
The international duo of Austrian saxophonist Ray Aichinger and Swedish pianist Mattias Nilsson released their first six-track EP together, Silent Nights, in 2015. The recording was made after a series of performances around Europe in the same year, spanning Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Croatia. Silent Nights is a Christmas-inspired album which includes the old favourites Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht and I'll Be Home For Christmas. December 2016 saw the release of a follow-up from the duo, Peaceful in Dreams with songs like Entre Le Bœuf Et L'âne Gris, Es Ist Ein Ros Entsprungen, Still, Still, Still, Sussex Carol and Blue December, a new composition by Aichinger-Nilsson. "It's a very interesting collection because it couples two standards with a few carols from the European tradition that show how rewarding the relationship between the folk music of the Old World and jazz can be"..."echoes the style of Lester Young and Ben Webster, and an unlikely recasting of "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning" as a Yuletide song. (Jazz Flashes, US) The repetoire of Aichinger and Nilsson consists of strong melodies from jazz, pop and the movies, combined with more traditional songs from their native countries and the rest of Europe, as well as originals. There is a mutual respect and friendship in their work together that shines through in the music.