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Kasper Villaume Quartet: #2 (2005)

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Kasper Villaume Quartet: #2 How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

On #2, the Kasper Villaume Quartet stretches out on original tunes and offers fresh takes on standards. The leader, on piano, steers the band through a thoroughly enjoyable program that begins with the sprightly "Bubbles. Tenor saxophonist Lars Moller has a steely, modern tone; bassist Jesper Bodilsen lays down a solid and resonant foundation; and drummer Morten Lund provides strong rhythm, color, and nuance.

They add a challenge to "All The Things You Are by arranging it in 7/4 time. Everyone navigates the waters wonderfully, giving this oft-covered standard a nice makeover. Chick Corea's burning "Quartet #2 gets everyone fired up for some inspired soloing, including a smoking sax/drums section. A low smoldering version of "I Wish I Knew offers the first of many demonstrations of Bodilsen's gorgeous bass tone on his solo feature, along with equally lovely improvisations from Villaume and Moller. More creative arranging benefits "My Man's Gone Now, which is re-imagined as a languid, funky dance.

Three excellent Villaume originals follow: the flowing waltz lines of "The Speedmaster, the New Orleans bump and grind of "Villaumenizer, and the rhythmically lilting landscape of "Song. The disc concludes with Villaume's solo reading of "Blame It On My Youth.

This disc is worth many listens. It's a great chance to hear some wonderfully creative Danish players in a great working band.

Visit Kasper Villaume on the web.

Track Listing: Bubbles; All The Things You Are; Quartet #2; I Wish I Knew; My Man's Gone Now; The Speedmaster; Villaumenizer; Song; Blame It On My Youth.

Personnel: Kasper Villaume: piano; Lars Moller: tenor saxophone; Jesper Bodilsen: bass); Morten Lund: drums.

Record Label: Stunt Records/Sundance Music

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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