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SOREN GEMMER ~ THE LARK
WHYPLAYJAZZ 028 (Barcode: 4250459990384) ~ DENMARK ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2015 Released: 2016

This is the second album by Danish pianist / composer Soren GemmerFind albums by this artist, recorded in two quartet settings: one with trumpeter Mads la CourFind albums by this artist and the other with guitarist Per MollehojFind albums by this artist and with the rhythm section which consists of Finnish bassist Tapani ToivanenFind albums by this artist and drummer Andreas FrylandFind albums by this artist. Together they perform thirteen pieces, all composed by Gemmer.

The music is an open form modern European Jazz, based on melodic themes but incorporating rhythmic irregularities, odd meters and group improvisation, which together create a wonderfully weird tonal experience. The decision to use condensed, relatively short pieces turns this album into an emotional rollercoaster, with themes, rhythms and splintered interplays somehow making a perfect musical sense. A few intimate piano solo and piano / trumpet duets are also present.

The album works so well thanks to the exceptional level of playing by all the participants, who are the young Lions of Scandinavian Jazz, taking the idiom into the future without any inferiority complexes. The music enables everybody to contribute splendid solo spots, as well as superb ensemble playing, which requires careful listening and mutual respect. This music is certainly quite challenging but these musicians seem to have no problem to overcome the technical obstacles.

The presence of la Cour is especially heartwarming here, as his wonderful trumpet tone and attack add an additional layer to this already great album. He is certainly one of the young European trumpet players, which are worth to be watched carefully, as they progress. Mollehoj gets the least exposure on this album, but his unique approach to the instrument is intriguing and I´m looking forward to hear more of his work. Toivanen has already quite a name on the young European scene and his bass lines are the epitome of good taste, modesty and elegance. Fryland stays mostly in the background, adding his rhythmic touches exactly where needed, but carefully holding back in order not to throw this delicate music off balance.

As usual with the splendid WhyPlayJazzFind albums on this label label, this music demands a lot of involvement from the listener and even intellectual effort, but the listening experience, perhaps only after more than one tryout, turns out to be exceptionally rewarding. The sound quality of this album is super, which makes it easy for the listener to pick up every individual note. Warmly recommended!
Updated: 05/06/2016Posted: 05/06/2016CD 1 Mini-Sleeve Recommend To A Friend

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