At Black Tornado

by Mikkel Ploug

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about

PERSONNEL

Mikkel Ploug - guitar
Jeppe Skovbakke - double bass
Sean Carpio - drums

ALBUM CREDITS

Recorded at Black Tornado Studios, Copenhagen (Jan 28/29 2014)
Engineer- Morten Bue
Mixed and Mastered by Morten Bue
Produced by Mikkel Ploug
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch

credits

released April 13, 2015

ABOUT THE ALBUM

At Black Tornado is the Whirlwind debut from guitarist Mikkel Ploug, a Denmark native currently based in Copenhagen with six previous albums released to worldwide acclaim. This new outing features his long-standing trio who've toured globally the past ten years and captures the feel, development, groove and joy of three like-minded musicians. With Jeppe Skovbakke on double bass and Sean Carpio on drums, the threesome have often toured and recorded in the company of renown musicians such as Mark Turner and Loren Stillman, but the goal of this new record was to capture the aesthetics they have come to inhabit as their own sound.

Ploug's new album unfolds with ease; listen as they settle into the first track 'Waking Up' and allow the music to evolve organically while hinting and exploring the DNA of the composition. Their sound, in part, stems from the mix of Carpio's ever evolving, longsighted rhythmic variations; the melodic and chordal Monk-inspired quirk of Mikkel's phrasing (along with his signature dusty and woody guitar tone); and Jeppe's 1950's inspired high string height— think no amp— double bass sound with the rootedness he brings as a result of touring with the popular Indie Rock band 'I Got You On Tape'.

The trio's aim for this recording was to play as 'live' in the studio as possible and as such their set up consisted of forming a circle configuration with no partitions, resembling their typical concert layout. In addition they approached the music as if performing a live concert: they played just one take of each song in a determined setlist order. There have been no edits or overdubs of any kind. To keep things fresh the forms were improvised at times as well, just listen in as Mikkel yells out “rhythm section up front!” during the count in to 'Comacina Dreaming'.

Mikkel explains, "The album was a sort of homecoming for us; a zone that occurs when the three of us come together and make music. It was also time for us to record again as a trio and focus our attention on that sound. We've done a lot of playing with wonderful musicians over the years, but for this record we wanted to document just the three of us and our development as a unit with our own identity. We're not in a rush with the music and we're very content in each other's company while still surprising and inspiring each other every time we play— it's a great situation to be in. I feel all this comes through in the music."

PRESS HIGHLIGHTS

"A highly individual sound... ​A thoroughly enjoyable affair."
Concerto Magazine

"Ploug is part of a generation of guitarists who absorbed as much from Radiohead as they did from Bill Frisell, so while there is all the openness and adventure of an improviser with his own distinctive language, it is informed by a more rugged, indie-rock sensibility, driven forward by Carpio’s subtle, ever-changing grooves."
★★★★ The Irish Times

"In all the band’s music there is a refreshing lack of interest in showing off technique with the focus resolutely on making good music, with simplicity or complexity neither here nor there. It’s a really lovely listen."
The Jazz Breakfast

"The material is largely Ploug tunes, easily digestible in the main, at their best when the tidiness of the writing gives way to a sprawling spilling out beyond the bridge, a Nordic Americana the flavor."
Marlbank

"The music is deserving of the widest possible audience."
Bebop Spoken Here

"Appeals to a wider audience which will give them the greater exposure and recognition that they deserve."
Sandy Brown Jazz

"Rich textures and sharp melodicism keep the ear riveted throughout... Occasional flourishes of folk-rock are a nice touch."
Bird is the Worm

"A Danish guitarist with a sound partly reminiscent of Mark Ribot, his country-blues-ish twang is stamped all over this."
JazzTimes Magazine

"​The trio sounds as natural in the studio as on the live stage."​
Medien Info

​"A highly individual sound... A thoroughly enjoyable affair."
Glicka

"Ploug has been one of the favorites ​of ​guitar nerd​s, now he should also be recognised further afield.​"
Leipziger Volkszeitung

"​Definitely worth listening to for people who think they have heard everything."​
Musikreviews Magazine

"​Demonstrates the joy, communication and connection in groove of these three musicians who have toured extensively."​
Rhein Main Magazine

​"​Mikkel Ploug plays a nimble, semi-acoustic guitar and this vintage theme runs pleasantly through the whole album recorded with bassist Jeppe Skovbakke and Sean Carpio ​on ​drum​s​​."​
Sound & Image

"Quiet, prudent and careful, very harmonious and relaxed... Independent and original​."
Musik An sich

​"A unique album."​
Nachrichten

​"​​It's rare to hear a trio where the acoustic bass pulsates with such warmth, drums play so unpretentiously and refined yet at the same time with such strong rhythm, and guitar plays with such grace."
Saarbrücker Zeitung

​"M​usic full of inspiration and self-confidence​."​
Sol

​"An emotional trip."​
HiFi News & Record Review

"Vibrant, interesting music."
Jazz NYT

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Whirlwind Recordings London, UK

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