How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Guitarist Thor Madsen retains an historical rhythmic swing throughout his session of modern mainstream originals. His quartet stretches the boundaries. Improvising with serious purpose, the foursome carries a Thelonious Monk influence along an extrapolated course. Quirky and energetic, Madsen's music includes the spirit of our bebop forefathers, while blazing a trail defining the future of jazz. Douglas Yates carries a fluid, brass-like tone and a scissor-like articulation that matches Madsen's movements note for note. When stretching out, both embody the kind of freedom that we hope for in our everyday activities. One could easily lose himself in this session. And yet, the origin of each piece comes from Madsen's impressions of New York. Tension? Yes, of course, there is considerable tension both in New York City and in Madsen's music. Bird and Diz relied on the city's tension. Madsen's quartet forges ahead, with urban anxiety serving merely as its starting point. Ballads "Little Q" and "After the Munchies" explore overlapping tonal colors. Mallets and drones provide a backdrop, as the quartet provides a release. Most tracks move up-tempo and follow traditional jazz form. "Simple Song" summarizes the session with a loping, day's end, "Don't Worry, Be Happy" mood. Straddling the fence between creative improvised music and modern mainstream jazz, Thor Madsen's highly recommended quartet session combines a deep respect for the history of jazz with explorations into new acoustic territory.
Track Listing: Interference; Metal Hunden; Little Q; No Dancing Allowed (Please Mr. Mayor); After the Munchies; Crazy Dog Out the Window; Phobia; El Ni