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Aalberg / Kullhammar / Zetterberg / Santos Silva: Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Irama Berat"

Portuguese trumpeter Susana Santos Silva joins the core Swedish trio for the 4th installment of this series recorded in Bali, Indonesia. Moreover, each musician uses indigenous Gamelan instruments to induce World Jazz treatments within a variety of motifs. However, the quartet executes a range of alternating flows, combining coarse and meaty horns parts with sonorous thematic statements and free-form improv. At times saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar enacts latter-day Coltrane-isms, yet the band tenders a modicum of tonal contrasts and emotive outbursts, largely outlined with upbeat grooves and whirlwind-like breakouts or inward-looking exchanges. They also grind out memorably melodic themes on three tracks. Along with quietly progressing voicings and edgy overtones, the band explores numerous routes on this intriguing production.

"Irama Berat" is a noteworthy piece, commencing with a medium-tempo jazz waltz vibe, shaped by bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg's curvy ostinato lines, and the frontline's perky choruses that form a circuitous flow amid Kullhamer's energized soloing. However, drummer Espen Aalberg's sweeping patterns and colorful cymbals work spawn an expansive background. Here, Santos Silva's fluent and glowing notes circle the primary hook, as Zetterbeg softens the pitch and momentum with his animated soloing during the midsection, where he steers the musicians back to the primary hook. Indeed, the hornists finalize the composition with grit and gusto, which is a component that surfaces on most tracks as the quartet seamlessly bridges the free jazz realm with conventional norms, equating to a performance that should attract listeners from both sides of the fence.

Personnel: Espen Aalberg: drums, percussion; Jonas Kullhammar: saxophone, flute; Torbjörn Zetterberg: bass; Susana Santos Silva: trumpet. All musicians also play gamelan.

Title: Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes) | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


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