Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

5

Max Zenger: Chapter 2

Sacha O'Grady By

Sign in to view read count
From its inception more than a century ago, jazz has taken a long, strange and twisted journey. From folk-art to more avant-garde adventures, jazz has never sat in the same place for too long, like a sort of free spirit in search of the infinite. Throughout that journey, at least since the 1940's, a time when Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins and other be-boppers were having a major impact on a new generation of musicians, Europe has also played its own important role in shaping the art form.

So it should come as no surprise that European jazz has its own distinct style and flavour. And continuing in that tradition is multi-instrumentalist Max Zenger, a saxophonist/bass clarinetist from Finland, whose latest album Chapter 2, recorded with the Maxxxtet quartet, is at once both earthy and sophisticated in equal measure.

Highlights on Chapter 2 are many and varied. Opener "Varanus Priscus" is played with a relaxed beauty, reminiscent of early Soft Machine, where Zenger's alto-saxophone provides the lattice-work around which other members Tomi Nikku (trumpet) Teemu Åkerblom (bass) and Joonas Leppänen (drums) add their own unique colours and textures.

Some tracks, such as "Year of the Rooster" and "Vortex" at times display elements of free-jazz—underpinned by a strong sense of melodic invention—that takes the listener on a varied, unpredictable journey. "Tresteg" invokes the luscious tones of John Coltrane and Eric Dolphy, while the hushed dynamics of "Tragikomik" exert more subtle charms. The swinging "Pristine" and the delicately crafted, more nuanced "Z.E.N.," which rounds out a strong set, are further fine examples of the quartet's intuitive interplay.

Released on the independent Eclipse Music label Chapter 2 is an accomplished, cerebrally nourishing piece of work.

Track Listing: Varanus Priscus; Year of the Rooster; Vortex; Tresteg; Tragikomik; Pristine; Z.E.N.

Personnel: Max Zenger: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Tomi Nikku: trumpet; Teemu Åkerblom: bass; Joonas Leppänen: drums.

Title: Chapter 2 | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Eclipse Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Ancient Agents" CD/LP/Track Review Ancient Agents
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "Lessons Lyrical" CD/LP/Track Review Lessons Lyrical
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "The Late Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Late Set
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 14, 2017
Read "Glare of the Tiger" CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Wobbly Dance Flower" CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Dance Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read "Dirt In The Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt In The Ground
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 13, 2017