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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.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.