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MONGREL ~ THICK AS THIEVES
LOSEN 148 (Barcode: 7090025831485) ~ NORWAY ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2015 Released: 2016

This is the second album by Norwegian Jazz quartet MongrelFind albums by this artist, which comprises of trumpeter Thomas Husmo LitleskareFind albums by this artist, Japanese (resident in Norway) pianist Ayumi TanakaFind albums by this artist, bassist Stian Andreas Egeland AndersenFind albums by this artist and drummer Tore FlatjordFind albums by this artist. The album presents nine original compositions, five by Litleskare, three by Andersen and one credited to all four members of the quartet.

The music is a typical modern European Jazz, based on melodic themes which serve as vehicles for improvisations by the quartet members. It is open to excursions into more free territory, but retains a well behaved orderly manner, even at the most spontaneous eruptions. Although not a typical moody Scandinavian Jazz, the music is still mostly melancholic, introvert and reflective. The compositions develop slowly towards a climatic ending, which in turn is followed by a delicate quiet introduction to the next composition. But strong melodies and excellent, sensitive execution turn the music into a most enjoyable listening experience.

Litleskare is a formidable trumpet player, who uses a rough, somewhat "dirty" tone, similar to that of the great Polish Master Tomasz StankoFind albums by this artist. His solos are all perfect examples of minimal coolness, and with the amicable support by the quartet members, he manages to achieve an effect of a veteran pro, despite his young age. Tanaka is a wonderfully romantic pianist, and her solos are true bliss; sadly she does not get the exposure she deserves, as more presence on her part could have made this album even better than it already is. The rhythm section does a wonderful job from start to finish, being right there behind the soloists, and managing the sometimes tricky twists and turns the music takes with taste and elegance.

Overall this is another superb release on the Norwegian LosenFind albums on this label Records, which proudly presents the new generation of the country´s Jazz talents, for which we can only be grateful. The only minor point of criticism about this album is its duration (under forty minutes) which is disappointing, especially in view of the quality of the music. We want more next time ;)
Updated: 09/05/2016Posted: 09/05/2016CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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