While all groups aim for the kind of collective chemistry that can make, for example, five people speak with a single voice, how they get there can vary significantly. In some cases there's instantaneous chemistry; in other cases, it comes from pre-existing relationships amongst various permutations and combinations of its members; in still other instances it is something that simply develops over time. On Forever Young, guitarist Jacob Young leverages both the relationships that have come before amongst the members of his quintet and a clear and immediate connection shared by its five members. A fine addition to an ECM ...read more
"Everything in nature is reborn within the circle of life, and shines with new brightness, hope and promises." These words, by writer/illustrator Flavia Weedn, find echo in Lillehammer, Norway-born Jacob Young's Near South End," a spirit-lifting composition featured on Sideways, his second effort for ECM.Cold-water streams start running anew, licking away slick patches of silvery, translucent ice. Damp dead leaves of summer past moisten the earth, and leave in the cool breeze that blows foreheads bare, an odoriferous aroma of worm-eaten wood and truffles. Get happy! Spring is here! The tune seems to say.In addition to ...read more
Born of an American father and Norwegian mother, Jacob Young's 2004 ECM debut, Evening Falls, may have introduced him to a more global audience, but he'd already been active on the Norwegian scene for a decade, releasing three albums for smaller independent labels. Still, with a strong quintet that is now back for Sideways, the guitarist seemed to make a quantum leap, with a clearer and more mature musical vision. Young's compositional economy and spare playing have become even more focused, as has his group's unique chemistry. The guitarist's style has always been conceptually informed by artists ...read more
The enigmatically beautiful Sideways is the second ECM release from Norwegian/American (not Norwegian-American) guitarist and composer Jacob Young, coming four years after Evening Falls (ECM, 2004). While Evening Falls might have been a prime example of the ECM sound/aesthetic, Sideways ups the ante, demonstrating Young's very strong control over the elements of his music, while never allowing the resultant sound to give away its secrets. Sideways is the ultimate paradox, as all kinds of opposites are successfully fused to create the whole. The music has a languorous beauty that is coolly romantic, with a ...read more
Now thirty-four years old, guitarist Jacob Young has been active on the Norwegian music scene since the early '90s, when he'd return home during summers off from his studies at New York's New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music. With three records under his belt on smaller Norwegian labels, the time has come for him to reach a broader international audience, and the release of his ECM debut, Evening Falls , which has been out in Europe for a few months but is only now seeing release in North America, is poised to do just that. With a multi-generational group ...read more
While guitarist Jacob Young has been on the Norwegian circuit for ten years, releasing three albums under his own name as well as a beautiful duet record with singer Karin Krog, Evening Falls is his first to receive widespread exposure. And that's a good thing as Young, in those ten years, has developed, much like piano counterpart Tord Gustavsen, into a singular artist who manages to blend a more ethnic Scandinavian approach with a clear respect for the American tradition. But whereas Gustavsen's sound owes much to New Orleans and the gospel tradition, Young comes from the more subdued and ...read more
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