The Belgian/Japanese pianist/composer Alex Koo
enlisted a pair of first call allstars, saxophonist Mark Turner
and trumpeter Ralph Alessi
, forming an acoustic chamber trio that brings his vision to life on Appleblueseagreen
. The title is taken from the literal translation of the Flemish word "appelblauwzeegroen," to describe a color of ambiguous personality. The music is cinematic, with the first three tunes, "enuD," "Dune" and "Funeral March," giving off a vibe of deep, ruminative sadness, like a soundtrack to the aftermath of a tragedy, the calm after an apocalypse.
Koo plays piano, keys and drums. His guests, saxophonist Turner and trumpeter Alessi, enter the scene on the disc's third offering, "Funeral March," painting a haunted landscape, a chilly fog clinging to the ground, the trees bereft of leaves. "Ghost Parade" retains the mood, conjuring images of translucent figures drifting just above the cold earth.
Taken as a whole, the music's mood flows in a fluid, ECM Records, chamber jazz mode, with an otherworldly quality, though "Etude No. 1: Mirror, Mirror on The Wall," a piano solo, prances, and the brief "Bodily Fluid" features brash horn work. "Etude No. 3" is a delicately rendered, classical-sounding piece, with Koo's supple touch on full display. The title tune searches the color spectrum and, like much of the set, mixes in a dozen shades of grey, before brighter hues are introduced on the set's closer, the majestic "Freedom Pilot," closing out a fine debut.
Track Listing: enuD; Dune; Funeral March; Ghost Parade; Etude No. 1 Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall; Dormilon; Bodily Fluids; Etude No. 2 The Gaze; The Lone Wanderer; Etude No. 3; Apples Are Blue But the Sea Is Green; Freedom Pilot.
Personnel: Alex Koo: piano; Mark Turner: saxophone; Ralph Alessi: trumpet.
| Year Released: 2019
| Record Label: Clever Tree Records