416

Jacob Young: Evening Falls

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Jacob Young: Evening Falls While guitarist Jacob Young has been on the Norwegian circuit for ten years, releasing three albums under his own name as well as a beautiful duet record with singer Karin Krog, Evening Falls is his first to receive widespread exposure. And that's a good thing as Young, in those ten years, has developed, much like piano counterpart Tord Gustavsen, into a singular artist who manages to blend a more ethnic Scandinavian approach with a clear respect for the American tradition. But whereas Gustavsen's sound owes much to New Orleans and the gospel tradition, Young comes from the more subdued and restrained approach of Jim Hall, with whom which he studied at New York's New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Young manages to blend an understanding of playing changes with an almost naive folk song-like simplicity. "Blue," which opens the album, is based around a simple chorus that sounds how Pat Metheny might have, had he grown up in Norway instead of the American Midwest. Young's choice of acoustic guitar for this and nearly half the programme of nine originals, lends to the ethnic leaning of the record, although his harmonic choices are often blended with more advanced harmonic ideas. And his solos, whether on acoustic or electric, are clearly informed by ideas he developed in study with artists including John Abercrombie, Richie Beirach and Kenny Werner. His playing is defined by a strong lyricism and understanding of the importance of space, two characteristics that are common denominators with all his educators. But by melding these qualities with a certain Norwegian roots element, he has created a sound that, again like Gustavsen, sounds refreshingly new while, at the same time, oddly familiar.

Evening Falls is also notable as the first ECM recording featuring drummer Jon Christensen since the '99 sessions that resulted in Bobo Stenson's Serenity . While Young's approach is less free, motivating Christensen to work more within a defined yet still elastic rhythmic framework, his playing is as subtle as ever. His playing on the rubato tone poem "Minor Peace" is filled with implication, but never resolves into the obvious.

The other members of Young's quintet, which has been together for two years, are bass clarinetist Vidar Johansen, trumpeter Mathias Eick, whose melancholy melodicism harkens to Kenny Wheeler while displaying a charming simplicity, and bassist Mats Eilertsen, known to ECM fans as the bassist for saxophonist Iain Ballamy's Anglo-Norwegian free group, Food. Johansen shines, even as his style places him more in a support role, through the intuitive counterpoint he provides to both Young's and Eick's more overt explorations. Eilertsen proves himself to be a strong player with a tender side that he examines on the subtle tango rhythm of "Sky."

Like Gustavsen's Changing Places , Evening Falls heralds the international arrival of an artist who, with a number of years behind him, has already developed a mature and personal approach. As a player, composer and bandleader he will clearly be someone to watch.


Track Listing: Blue; Evening Air; Minor Peace; Looking for Jon; Sky; Presence of Descant; Formerly; The Promise; Falling.

Personnel: Jacob Young: guitars; Mathias Eick: trumpet; Vidar Johansen: bass clarinet, tenor saxophone (6); Mats Eilertsen: double-bass; Jon Christensen: drums.

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Olhos De Mar" CD/LP/Track Review Olhos De Mar
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 24, 2016
Read "Varanda" CD/LP/Track Review Varanda
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 15, 2016
Read "Lockout Station" CD/LP/Track Review Lockout Station
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 1, 2017
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 20, 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!