Magnus Broo - Painbody (Moserobie, 2008)
Trumpeter and composer Magnus Broo is a member of the group Atomic, and heavily involved with the wonderfully talented Scandinavian jazz scene. Some of the tracks on this disc also appear on Atomic's latest opus, Retrograde, but here they have a slightly different feel as Broo joins forces with Torbjorn Gulz on piano, Mattias Welin on bass and Jonas Holgersson on drums. The music is fresh and open, and with no saxophone player sharing the front line, Broo is left to command center stage. "Africa" opens the album with a mid-tempo groove, which slowly grows more intense throughout the performance with strong drums and trumpet. "Painbody" is strong, fast and exciting, with vigorous bass providing propulsion and Broo's trumpet spitting fire. "Das Boot" is equally strong, blasting through a short and pity song with garage rock intensity, again buoyed by Welin's agile bass. "Koba" begins with a milder and controlled setting before Broo pushes to an exalted solo, filled with exciting smeared notes. I found this album to be stimulating and very well played. The music often reaches a fever pitch, but the musicians remain in control throughout.
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Unnatural Ways - We Aliens (Tzadik, 2016) ****
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