4

The Splendor: Delphian Palace

Florence Wetzel By

Sign in to view read count
The Splendor: Delphian Palace Probably it's best for jazz writers to paraphrase press releases, but sometimes the wording is too good to tamper with. For instance: "The Splendor is a jazz quartet with antennae out, claws in, and a tireless interest in all the small details of the music that transform each concert into its own universe." It's a marvelous description of this Swedish group and its one-of-a-kind soundscape: the music is joyful, inventive, and above all, boldly beautiful.

The Splendor's second release, Delphian Palace, was recorded in Sweden in a small house by the sea, and the peace and freedom of this setting infuses the album's atmosphere. The instrumentation gives a sense of what's afoot: there's the traditional sax, piano, bass, and drums, but also glockenspiel, omnichord, electronics, synthesizer, and melodica. The group uses these more unconventional instruments to accent their quartet, but they also include several songs that veer toward pure electronic improv, highlighting their ability to move comfortably inside and outside of tradition.

Gems include "The Follower," an achingly pretty ballad that starts off with electronic crunching, gradually folding in Fabian Kallerdahl's stately, sparkling piano, as well as deeply sonorous bass lines by Josef Kallerdahl and subtle brushwork by drummer Lars Källfelt. Then bandleader Lisen Rylander Löve's sax states the melody, a lyrical waterfall full of gentle longing. The song takes its time, meandering into a gentle flowering, lovely and graceful as a floating cherry blossom. "Circles" is another captivating tune, with a melody so lithe and elegant, it sounds like birds in flight. Löve reaches a fine emotional place in this song, displaying a soulful timbre that's pure delight. "A Piece" is a spacious song full of gentle nuances, including fleeting dissonances and electronic lacework, and "Pomada" has a wonderfully upbeat rhythm, with inspired stickwork by Källfelt and a fantastic group improv during Löve's solo. And "Still" is particularly pleasing, with a gorgeously spare rhythm section and lingering notes from Löve that are reminiscent of Jimmy Giuffre's classic trio work.

The group is wonderfully cohesive, with all members contributing equally to the proceedings, but special mention must be made of Löve's tenor sax. She is John Coltrane's long-lost daughter, both in sound and spirit, and yet her voice is uniquely her own. There's something so thoughtful and gracious about her phrasing; she certainly can blow with great strength and she even shreds a few chords, but more often her style is deliciously low-key. She is always content to take her time, allowing each note and phrase to expand into their full beauty.

On Delphian Palace, the Splendor takes the classic jazz quartet format and makes it their own, interspersing the music with intelligent, playful touches of technology. But what sets this group apart is their spirit: there's a tender purpose here, an expressive freedom that welcomes joy. Indeed, their claws are in and their antennae are out, and the resulting music is world-class jazz that's both fresh and exciting.


Track Listing: A Piece; The Follower; Pomada; Low; Hoppets Röst; Circles; Fortune; Still; Metropol; The Palace.

Personnel: Lisen Rylander Löve: tenor sax, glockenspiel, omnichord, voice, percussion, electronics; Fabian Kallerdahl: piano, synthesizer, melodic, percussion; Josef Kallerdahl: double bass; Lars Källfelt: drums, percussion.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Hoob Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Miles Smiles" CD/LP/Track Review Miles Smiles
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: July 2, 2016
Read "Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 3, 2017
Read "Work" CD/LP/Track Review Work
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 13, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "Night Music" CD/LP/Track Review Night Music
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 4, 2016
Read "Jaco Pastorius" CD/LP/Track Review Jaco Pastorius
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!