488

Anders Christensen Trio: Dear Someone

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Anders Christensen Trio: Dear Someone
Throughout the years, Danish jazz has been blessed with a host of talented bassists such as Bo Stief, Jesper Lundgaard and Jesper Bodilsen, but one name, in particular, has reached across the country's borders and become synonymous with virtuosity and melodic invention. The late Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen was most famous, perhaps, for playing with Oscar Peterson and Ed Thigpen in what has to be one of the legendary pianist's most successful formations. The shadow of the great Dane has, however, loomed largely over the aesthetic landscape of Danish jazz and no one has really been able to take his place in terms of stylistic innovation—until now.

If anything, the 2009 Copenhagen Jazz Festival proved that a shift in paradigm has taken place in Danish jazz. This change in aesthetic can, in many ways, be seen as embodied in the playing of the young bassist Anders Christensen. Whereas the strength of Ørsted Pedersen was his lightning fast figures and impeccably tight swing, Christensen makes a virtue out of playing slower and with fewer notes. Unlike Ørsted Pedersen, he doesn't fill the empty space; he plays around it, giving his sound a loose, almost floating feeling that still manages to groove.

The reference to tradition is also different. If Ørsted Pedersen was a traditionalist whose pillars were Danish folksong and the standards, Christensen is much more eclectic in his choice of repertoire. This is evident on his long-awaited debut, Dear Someone, which finds him enlisting iconoclastic drummer Paul Motian and one of the most talked-about pianists of the moment, Aaron Parks.

The cover, with its allusion to iconic singer/songwriter Bob Dylan's The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan (Columbia, 1963), speaks clearly of the post-modern nature of an album whose title track isn't a standard but a country-waltz by folksinger Gillian Welch. But Christensen doesn't shun classics; in fact, the trio plays a pretty, swinging version of "Stompin' at the Savoy."

The highlights of the album are three Motian compositions: "Split Decision," "Arabesque" and "Once Around the Park" which all display the drummer's uncanny knack for combining abstract swing and impressionistic lyricism. Parks, like Christensen, is an eminent interpreter of Motian's music, and his reading of "Arabesque" is one of the most beautiful versions of this melancholy ballad committed to record.

There is a variety of genres and moods on Dear Someone, and Christensen gently guides his trio through them all. More than anything, his talent lies in the way he elegantly puts himself aside and lets the musical voices of the past and present speak in a musical language of joy and sorrow.

Track Listing

Dear Someone; Split Decision; Arabesque; Conception; Spend All The Money; Once Around The Park; Stompin At The Savoy; The Wedding; I'll Be Seeing You; Little One.

Personnel

Anders Christensen: bass; Aaron Parks: Piano; Paul Motian: drums.

Album information

Title: Dear Someone | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Stunt Records/Sundance Music

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Sacred Ceremonies
Wadada Leo Smith with Milford Graves and Bill...
L'Impact du Silence
Francois Bourassa
The Bright Awakening
Paul Dunmall - Matthew Shipp - Joe Morris -...
Live in Ohrid
Dzijan Emin & The Magical Orchestra
Sing To The World
Benito Gonzalez
Quasar-Mach
Jeffrey Morgan
Inspirations
Mindaugas Stumbras

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.