Sunday, August 23, 2009

Jazzmob - Flashback (Jazzaway, 2009)

Jazzmob is another one of the group of stellar Scandinavian jazz groups that have sprung up recently, making exciting and challenging music that pays scant attention to boundaries and focuses on making excellent music. Consisting of Kare Nymark on trumpet, Jon Klette on alto saxophone and electronics, Gisle Johansen on tenor saxophone, Anders Aarum on keyboards, Per Zanussi on bass and Andreas Bye on drums, the music on this live album is at a very high level throughout. "Pathfinder" opens with fine trumpet over insistent piano accompaniment. "Don't Mess With Miss T" has some uptempo fanfare riffing giving way to a nice electric piano solo encouraged by rapid and dexterous drumming, and a potent swirling tenor saxophone solo. "Flashback" keeps the pace moving quickly this time accented with alto saxophone and acoustic piano. "Bass Interlude>Major Walk" has a fine solo from Zanussi and then the band re-enters for a cacophonous free interlude. This energy is kept up on the following tune, "Crossbreed," which combines squealing saxophone with electronics, making something like free-fusion. The only performance approaching a ballad on this album is "Segments Of Bird" which is slower but still strong featuring a patient tenor saxophone solo that builds to an exciting climax. "Fifth Horizon" starts the kettle to boil again with a strong and swirling saxophone solo, and a nicely building keyboard feature. "Just Like That" ends the album with some strong riffing and live electronics. This was an exciting and enjoyable album with combined with modern modal and free jazz with electronics giving it postmodern touches of fusion and progressive rock. This band is quite talented and I hope we hear more from them in the future. Another winner from the Jazzaway label which is on quite a roll.

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