All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.
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.
Track Listing: Daze; JWS; Espresso Crescent; Choro Dancado; Heimat; Squealfish; Eel Thye Deeflat;
Skyliner; Man In The Black Hat.
Personnel: Torben Waldorff: guitar; Donny McCaslin: tenor sax; Sam Yahel: piano, Fender Rhodes, organ; Matt Clohesy: bass; Jon Wikan: drums, percussion.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.