“This mix is a journey from Ethiopia to islands in the Indian Ocean, with stops at Australian jazz and German minimal electro in-between.”
Jazz pianist and composer Aron Ottignon established himself as one of the Antipodes’ finest musicians by the tender age of 16, and he’s been winning an array of awards ever since. Out to declare that jazz is in no way dead, Ottignon uses his powers at the grand piano to breathe new life into the genre, stretching it to its limits and intermingling its well-known forms with techniques from both electronic music as well as traditional percussive elements. Ottignon knows that all jazz musicians need to be good storytellers – and all the most accomplished performers unroll more than just the genre’s merely acoustic elements into their compositions. Aron is certainly not lacking in the area of storytelling, a trait that enhances his creations on a profound level, above and beyond his musical vision. With only the slightest nudge, he can go on and on about the experiences he has amassed, leaving his audience hanging on his every word.
“I heard most of the bands in this mix play live on my travels so, for me, this compilation revives many memories; Different spices, textiles, colors of clothing, temperatures and environments. This is what sound is about, no?
When listening to Stimming I think of a dark club in Berlin, dancing till sunrise. Listening to Edamise Oh! I think of the amazing creole dishes I tried on that hot island, Meltdown reminds of Lorde and my connection to New Zealand and the life journey the music business has provided me so far. And Take It Higher is by my brother Matthew, and well…too many stories to tell for this song.”
April 20th marks the self-release of Aron Ottignon’s second EP, Starfish. Expect a compelling fusion of Aron’s virtuosic jazz piano with avant-garde electronic music and sound design.
Ribbon in the Sky – Leae
Chambacu – Aurita Castillo Y Su Conjunto
Ki ti le – Tambour Ravanne
Selundig – Labelle
Take it Higher – Mister Ott
Shanga Lumbuele – Children of Wagogo Tanzania
Rhythms of the Cook Islands – Music of the Cook Islands
Happy Song – Aronas
November Morning – Stimming
The Story – The Matthew Herbert Big Band – ft Eska
Meltdown – Stromae ft Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip & HAIM
Merci – Stromae
Africa…I Freak Her – Chris Dave and the Drum Heads
Starfish – Aron Ottignon
Edamise Oh! – Lola Martin Chante La Martinque
Pisces – Rodi Kirk
Comet, Come to Me – Meshell Ndegeocello
Fables of Faubus – Charlie Mingus
Really Love – D’Angelo and the Vanguard
Thank you, Aron, for making this mixtape for us! Hear more from Aron on Soundcloud, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned for an upcoming piece on his productions as well as the current state of jazz music.
Craving more mixtapes? We’ve got quite a few to keep you going.
Photograph by Kent Andreasen