For his sophomore effort, Danish guitarist/composer Torben Waldorff unleashes a strong album which gives his listeners more of the same and then some. Waldorff, who is now based out of Malmo, Sweden, had previously enjoyed a well-received album of a live performance, Brilliance
(ArtistShare, 2007). On this studio-made album, Waldorff stays with the same formula but turns the heat up quite a bit.
The most influential catalysts on this session are provided by saxophonist Donny McCaslin (returning from Brilliance), and keyboardist Sam Yahel, whose work on Hammond B-3 organ, Fender Rhodes and piano give Afterburn a distinctive edginess. Waldorff writes attractive themes for this session and it seems, regardless of the tempo, that both McCaslin, and Yahel leave their own respective mark on most of these compositions.
Waldorff is not heard in solo until the third track "Espresso Crescent," where he goes toe-to-toe with McCaslin. The guitarist is not playing in any sort of free-jazz mode. Rather, he seems greatly influenced by Pat Metheny's early ECM period style. McCaslin, on the other hand, turns each opportunity into a squalling post-Coltrane solo regardless of tempo. On "Heimat," an introspective ballad, the saxophonist comes closest to a melodic solo, while on the like-minded "Skyliner" he unleashes two jagged improvisations. On the latter, the versatile Yahel shows his piano skills with a forceful solo.
The pulse of this oft-propulsive album is well tended by Matt Clohesy on bass and Jon Wikan, also known as trumpeter Ingrid Jensen's drummer and husband.
Personnel: Torben Waldorff: guitar; Donny McCaslin: tenor sax; Sam Yahel: piano, Fender Rhodes, organ; Matt Clohesy: bass; Jon Wikan: drums, percussion.