Tuesday, July 12, 2016

I.P.A. - I Just Did Say Something (Cuneiform, 2016)

I.P.A. is something of a Scandinavian jazz supergroup, featuring Atle Nymo on tenor saxophone, Magnus Broo on trumpet, Mattias Stahl on vibraphone, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass and Hakon Mjaset Johansen on drums. Their music is vibrant modern jazz, which takes it’s cue from the classic mid-sixties Blue Note recordings while giving it a postmodern spin. There is a very Ornette Coleman like suggestion to the opening track, “Kort Hilsen,” with strong and powerful saxophone and drums hinting at the wild excitement of free jazz while the framing vibes and thick bass keep the music carefully grounded. The horns and rhythm begin to slow and open up toward the midsection, which allows a fine trumpet solo before the music winds down to a conclusion. “Sayembara” has light percussion and subtle horns that chop pensively against the beat, while hinting at a melody. The music blooms gradually, with a more active rhythm from the vibes and drums developing as the trumpet and tenor saxophone spiral around one another. Nymo’s saxophone breaks out to solo over strong drumming and trumpet support leading to a section of excellent interaction. There is a lively melody from the horns on “Globus” and thoughtful playing as the melody gives way to a ripe tenor saxophone solo. A subtle vibraphone interlude weaves amidst the understated bass and drums before the pace picks up and the full band comes together for a rousing conclusion. “Sir William” features dancing drums and vibes developing an excellent rhythm as Nymo’s strident saxophone begins to arc overhead, sounding free and potent. The full band struts together and then the tempo begins to open with fine bass and cymbals supporting a taut trumpet solo. The group then joins back together for a stirring cooperative conclusion. The spirit of Eric Dolphy’s great Out to Lunch album imbues “Slakt Sving,” where vibes shimmer against the horns as rolling drums and dense bass provide support. A deep tenor saxophone solo is rolled out, sounding pungent and strong against the powerful backdrop. Broo’s trumpet soars in this selection also, flying high and playing in a very authoritative manner. “I Just Did Say Something” concludes the album with a subtle yet fast rhythm being achieved that allows the saxophone and trumpet to gradually fill in. Everyone comes together for a theme that is quite alluring and allows the improvised sections to become woollier and more exciting as trumpet and saxophone reach for the sky and the rhythm deepens and pulsates. They move into one of the freest sections of the album, which leads to the finale. This was a very good album from a formidably talented group of musicians. The open sounding melodies and loose structure of the music allows for the musicians to take their explorations in a wide range of directions while maintaining the organized principles of robust group interplay. I Just Did Say Something - amazon.com

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