The album “Ananda” featuring Jeff Ballard, Dave Stryker, Zach Brock,
Vadim Neselovskyi, Pete McCann, Adam Armstrong, Bobby Harden,
Mivos String Quartet and Christian Finger is available now!
Bob Blumenthal: “It takes an exceptional composer, leader and percussionist to conceive a program of such ambition and scope, much less to make it work. Christian Finger is all three in one person, and Ananda marks him as an exceptional and exemplary contemporary musician.”
“Down Beat” : “… Ananda is brimming with idealism and fearless venture…drummer Christian Finger embarked upon considerable globe-hopping before eventually taking root in Brooklyn, and he cites this disc as his spiritual world “travelogue.” To his credit, this ambitious undertaking successfully aspires to exude an abstract, sprawling vibe of global connectivity… Ananda is plentiful with such moments: cinematic tableaus that somehow gracefully merge between unlikely leaps…on-the-sleeve honesty and that’s key…”-Jeff Potter
Order your copy here via contact (I will sign it for you if you want).
Also available at CD baby http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/christianfinger2
Since it’s release, “Ananda” got over 20 reviews recommending the Album; here some quotes from press reviews and Jazz Radio DJs (CD is #94 in Jazz Charts):
Modern Drummer Magazine: ” ..Eye opening music… a top-shelf jazz and fusion release in high rotation here…..Reflecting drummer/composer Finger’s globetrotting history, Ananda jumps from lush ballads to noise guitar while still managing to project a unified, almost modern-day third-stream visionThis is the kind of record where the intent isn’t to dazzle but to show how the drums can be woven into the overall tapestry.”(Ilya Stemkowski)
“Another day, another jazz group expanded by string quartet. Actually German drummer Finger, who has been resident in the U.S. for a while and is a student of Jeff Ballard, in some ways uses strings more prominently than Chris Potter (see review of Imaginary Cities here) as one of his chief soloists is violinist Zach Brock (the most impressive player here). The others are guitarists Pete McCann and Dave Stryker, and pianist Vadim Neselovskyi, so it’s an all strings and percussion affair. …travel, zen, Ananda (the Sanskrit for “the world of bliss”), Mozart, Senegalese drumming, Alban Berg, Urgrund (German for “the ancient ground from which we all originate”) . Finger is as bursting with musical ideas as he is with conceptual ones, and the album is filled with fine and sophisticated playing. He dominates as composer but not as player, giving his fellow players a lot of room to move and express themselves. Try the title track as a highlight. Overall it’s an interesting exploration of this new type of jazz which is as happy exploring its relationship with Western classical music as it is conversing with Eastern and African traditions.”
Peter Bacon, http://thejazzbreakfast.com/2015/01/28/christian-finger-ananda/
“Some tunes have purity and clarity. They seem to link to the old stories told by elders so long ago that they are a part of the genetic code. Sometimes the melodies seem to be folk tunes from multiple cultures murmuring narratives, cautionary tales, celebrations, nostalgic musings. Sometimes the music has the lilt of jazz, syncopation, ellipsis and substitution, a familiar cadence that says you’ve heard this before, but not quite like this. Sometimes the stories are structured, logical, traditional, reliable in their conclusions and resolutions… quote classical unquote.
Drummer composer Finger and his compadres, Vadim Neselovskyi, pianist, Pete McCann and Dave Stryker, guitars, bassist Adam Armstrong, violinist Zach Brock, and the wondrous Mivos String Quartet combine all the elements mentioned before to make a human music… not world, not crossover, not even exactly third stream (jazz classical cross pollination), but human music that passes through the ear bypassing the the pre-frontal cortex (judging-comparing) and headed straight for the hippocampus (emotions and long term memory).
I could write extensively about each tune, but this time I prefer to leave analysis to you the individual listeners, that is if you feel the need to analyze this music at all. For me it is a thing of great beauty, elegant in its simplicity, authentic in its intimacy, revelatory in its familiarity.
Thank you for your hard work and passion. And thank you for your commitment to the emerging global community.
-Hobart Taylor; Radio Station KUCI in LA
“Christian Finger is a German drummer/composer residing in NYC and his resume includes working with Dave Kikoski, Gerd Dudek, Harvie S, and Charlie Hunter. Ananda is one of the most inclusive albums this writer has heard this year–it’s all over-the-map with its influences and inspirations yet it holds together as a cohesive experience for the eclectic-minded. Without coming across as a Whitman’s Sampler, Ananda encompassed fusion, chamber jazz, Django Reinhardt-style swing, mellow balladry, hard bop, and more. “African Skies, Linear Lives” juxtaposes African-flavored (almost New Orleans-like, too) with gnarly, thorny rock-edged guitar from Pete McCann and Vadim Neseovsky plays a lovely ruminative solo with echoes of Abdullah Ibrahim and Keith Jarrett. “Truth Waltzed In” is a bittersweet ballad wherein McCann gets in touch with his inner Kenny Burrell and Zach Brock waxes romantic with the warm elegance (though not the style) of Stephane Grappelli, and Vadim Neseovsky plays a spare, luminously lyrical yet punchy solo. The exhilarating “Nights Beyond, India” has a “Caravan”-like rhythm, some fierce, searing rock-like guitar from McCann that evolves into a duel with Brock as it builds to Coltrane-like intensity, with little detour to some pugnacious heavy metal motifs and then into some contemplative McCoy Tyner-esque passages. “Two Faces” is a melancholy yet melodramatic (in the best sense!) ballad sung by Bobby Harden in a manner evoking Kurt Elling in his more mellow moments.
The Mivos String Quartet isn’t there for a “with strings” concept –the foursome is melded into Finger’s ensemble as a whole. While the focus is on Finger’s remarkable compositions, his drumming his most impressive–like Jack DeJohnette and Matt Wilson, he’s alternately explosive, self-effacing, and making with simmering swing. If you’re the type of jazz fan–or music fan for that matter–that needs “consistency” for the length of an album, Ananda might be frustrating. Conversely, if you can groove to the Kronos Quartet, the original Mahavishnu Orchestra, and McCoy Tyner within the same hour, this platter is well nigh essential.Mark Keresman, http://www.jazzedmagazine.com/…/hot-wax-album-reviews-febr…/
“It’s obvious Finger is making music just for the sheer pleasure of it, combining brain with beat, and the result is indeed bliss on many level… The disc is, in fact, a killer fusion outing that would be perfectly at home on MoonJune or myriad other progressive labels, even ECM—the old ECM, the 70s ECM, as the balladic title cut, African Skies, Linear Lives, is a conjugation of Oregon meeting Mahavishnu Orchestra meeting Shadowfax, especially once Pete McCann enters with his psychedelic Holdsworth/Boyle/Abercrombie guitar style. Then Vadim Neselovskyi enters and mixes it up with the composition, on piano going from Jarrett to Wasilewski to Evans.
…The above three paragraphs only briefly and lightly touch on the feast this CD offers, and Ananda is 78 minutes long, so you have plenty of time to get your music buzz on and sustain it.”Mark Tucker, acousticmusic.com
“This is a reminder of the kind of high octane world jazz you would get from the pals of John McLaughlin or Frank Zappa when they would wander off with their own solo deals. With an all-star crew of up and coming ‘jazzbros’ in tow, everyone here is having a blast backing this worldly drummer up. This is pressing the buttons to spur some world fusion nostalgia quite easily. Tasty stuff that’s right in the world fusion bag.”Chris Spector, midwestrecord.com
“I’m a DJ on Lopez Island, Washington on KLOI. I just played your title track last Friday and will play two or three more tracks this Friday. A listener called in and said it sound like Shostakovich playing jazz. OK by me!”
“This is a very interesting, thought provoking and enjoyable album that includes both very modern jazz and contemporary classical music… there is certainly music, with a little imagination, to fill your mind with fascinating images and lasting 78 minutes you should also feel really good about its value for money…The string playing is superb but all members of the band are excellent in this pulsating, sinuous piece. Not Gone, Not Forgotten is contemporary, classical music featuring Finger and the Mivos String Quartet and highlights the breadth of Finger’s compositional talent with a nod towards Mozart.” Howard Lawes, sandybrownjazz.co.uk
” When it comes to jazz drummers, only a select few can compose, lead and drum all over the course of one album but NYC based Christian Finger puts it all together on his 2014 album. The 13 track Ananda finds Finger in the studio with top jazz musicians including Jeff Ballard (drums), Dave Stryker (guitar), Pete McCann (guitar) Vadim Neselovskyi (piano), Adam Armstrong (bass), Zach Brock (violin) topped off by the evocative sounds of the Mivos String Quartet. There’s even a vocal track here featuring the voice of Bobby Harden. Calling Finger’s Ananda album just jazz would be a disservice as the album veers into all kinds of sonic complexities—from avant gard to progressive jazz-rock fusion and even neo-classical. Finger’s 3rd solo album, Ananda is complex, yet highly accessible sounding instrumental music. Finger is of German descent, yet his jazz sensibilities have found him recording and playing all over the map, including throughout Europe, Australia and the US. Finger has played and recorded with a number of jazz greats, including jazz legend Lee Konitz and he brings that depth of experience into focus on Ananda. Jazz fans looking to branch out into some deep and wide instrumental sounds will get a sonic high from Finger’s Ananda.
“Christian Finger, an award-winning German drummer and composer, has so far released three albums, and the third he came out in 2014 called “Ananda – The World is Bliss”. The album that included members of his usual quartet, violinist Zack Brock, pianist Vadim Neselovskyi and double bassist Adam Armstrong, and hosted and Jeff Ballard, Dave Stryker, Pete McCann, Bobby Harden and Mivos String Quartet. As I see it on the internet, Christian Finger is quite praised musician, and his new album received pretty good reviews.
On this album, the sorts of things happened because the Christian Finger is not tied to one style but his compositions, each has different features. There were pure classical jazz, smooth jazz, fusion, classical music, and the song which is the majority drumming Christian Finger and Jeff Ballard and reminiscent of African tribal music. As it changed style so changed my impression of the album and my opinion is somewhat variable. Most of the songs are quite impressed because of the energy and melody, … the quality of the album is undeniable and listen to it for yourself you will be convinced. Quality is produced, and there are also incredible bass and string sections, which, on the other hand, Christian Finger whole time linking his drumming. In some compositions by changing the atmosphere, from aggressive stock for violin, electric guitar and bass in a lightweight and smooth shares for piano and stringed instruments and these are my songs were especially interesting; said I, “African Skies, Linear Lives”, “Nights Beyond, India” and “Secret Procession I”, but also other excellent songs like “Ananda”, “For Now” and “African Skies, Drumming Live / Boubacar’s Son’s”.
I recommend that you listen to this album because it really offers a lot of quality songs …. And I still feel quite glad I got the chance to listen to it, and I hope that you also will feel that way. http://soundguardian.com/…/1731-christian-finger/2852-ananda
“Already author of two acclaimed albums, the German drummer Christian FINGER is back with ANANDA. This beautiful Sanskrit word for the world welcomed is a beautiful definition for music FINGER. It has indeed the desire to express the beauty and richness of the world through a music that would express its diversity. Training and heart jazz, Christian FINGER does not hesitate to go beyond this simple style to express themselves. For this new work, he uses a beautiful panel of musicians, starting with his mentor, the great Jeff Ballard (Pat METHENY, Chick COREA & Brad MEHLDAU …) to a drum duet on one of the titles , the renowned Dave Stryker on guitar, the talented young Ukrainian pianist Vadim NESELOVSKYI, the rising star of jazz violin, Zach BROCK, MCCANN Pete on guitar, Adam Armstrong on bass, vocals Bobby HARDEN (of a title) and MIVOS STRING QUARTET to support the whole. Just like his music, the musicians are from different backgrounds, with a place of choice for the new generation, allowing it to link American and European jazz to take their respective specificity.
African Skies, Linear Lives is the perfect reflection of what is expected of this music: a world fusion jazz, rock tinged by his guitar, world music with its rhythmic and even classical piano by his hesitates not make the connection between these genres. Contemporary, jazz it can evoke the work of a MEHLDAU Brad’s desire to sound mixing. In waltzed Truth is in this spirit, still in that characteristic sweetness. FINGER, single composer, not the opportunity to pull the blanket to him: it provides the rhythm, while leaving it to his cronies to speak. But here, no solos, action is wagered on the atmosphere, the sound environment. Although simple Interlude, this new title is very interesting, beautifully showcasing the talent of BROCK! Ananda well-appointed, has the intelligence to pursue BROCK always travel in company. Twirling virtuoso but never complacent, it brings significantly its attractiveness as a very addictive, very rich that would not refuse an amateur progressive! Exciting Nights … Beyond, India, more serious and tortured continuously eclectic musical progression FINGER. After a moderate start, the music of the album is becoming increasingly important, nuances and jazz-rock fusion sound. Two Faces, only sang as we did enjoy the beautiful body of Bobby HARDEN. Cutting edge with the rest of the pieces, it fits easily by providing an enchanted, simple and touching. Back For Now with the traditional. Least wanted in his background, he does no less successful because more spontaneous, with FINGER comes out of his reserve to make his instrument in value. In more American jazz approach, it is the right addition to following Secret Procession, European persuasion. More languid intros and-spective, this title will probably require more concentration but the result is worth it! At the edge of Rock In Opposition, he amazes by its depth and a luminous NESELOVSYI the piano. A small masterpiece! Not Gone, Not Forgotten, short play, is a real piece of classic performed by the Quartet Mivos! We can not join but the quality is present! African Skies, Drumming Lives: Boubacar’s Son’s finally see the arrival on stage of BALLARD! And the wait was worth it: these 9 ‘of pure happiness are based solely and interpreted by the 2 drummers! True complementary duo, we are witnessing a swaying drumming festival, heady, making us travel on African soil. A great moment, a great success! Even battery allergy will be tempted and fooled by this hypnotic dance! In’s Welternall 1, Into The Sky takes us back to reality while his suite and final album leaves us with the string ensemble to conclude on a sombre note, wanting surely express his fear that these people just disappear just … Christian FINGER is a jazzman on which it will now count! This third album, long, too long perhaps, has something for: alternating or combining brilliantly various styles (jazz, rock, world, classical), he managed to make us travel and feel emotions without caricature or mannerism. Certainly, it is quite slow to start and 78 ‘lengths and necessarily include various plays are needed to fully absorb it, but the whole is of a very high mastery and flawless quality, thanks to very talented musicians who bring with them a future of jazz. Opening to the world, altruistic, he will seduce many of you! A great album! http://highlands.fanzine.free.fr/acceuil.html