All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

82

Soren Kjaergaard / Ben Street / Andrew Cyrille: Femklang

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
In his liner notes to the seminal Kind of Blue (Columbia, 1959), pianist Bill Evans wrote eloquently about the link between Japanese visual art and improvisation, using the description of the technique of minimalistic painting as an analogy to the process of musical creation. Evans emphasized the need for an uninterrupted and natural approach to music making, eschewing elaborate artistic planning in favor of an approach which would allow the music to blossom in the moment while, at the same time, capturing a sense of something "that escapes explanation."

Listening to Danish pianist Søren Kjærgaard and his American trio immediately bring to mind what Evans was trying to capture in words. On the group's third effort, Femklang, there is sense of openness and spaciousness, a feeling of intuitive beauty, that is balanced by the intricate forms which arise in the communication between these three masterful musicians.

"The loop (Variation One)" introduces a gentle, trancelike rhythm, with a hi-hat in strict meter, punctuated by flourishes of piano and the wood carvings of Ben Street's bass.

"Row No. 18," however, is carried by a loose, swinging rhythm. Here, a walking bass pattern is the foundation of a delicate fountain of sound from legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille's percussion, while Kjærgaard dances sublimely around the tangents, pulling melodic motifs out of the air.

Throughout, there is a sense of uninterrupted, natural artistic elegance, which is the kind of aesthetic Evans wrote about. Like the best working trios, Kjærgaard, Street and Cyrille create a musical vocabulary that is entirely their own, at once modern and yet with a feel of the ancient Oriental masters who express a world of feelings in a supposedly simple Haiku or in the elegant brushwork of their paintings.

With Femklang, Kjærgaard, Street and Cyrille have reached their musical apotheosis so far, but there is no telling what the group will be able to do in the future. Their interplay radiates with the endless possibilities of art and in every effort, they seem to capture some of the elusiveness of musical creation.

Track Listing: The Loop (Variation One); A Diminished Proposal; Row No. 18; Tale of Weaving; Gravities of Play; Formindskede Smuler; Pedestra Pantonale; Chords & Clusters, Untitled; The Loop (Variation Two).

Personnel: Søren Kjærgaard: piano; Ben Street: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums.

Title: Femklang | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: ILK Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Syvmileskridt

Syvmileskridt

ILK Music
2014

buy
Femklang

Femklang

ILK Music
2011

buy
Open Opus

Open Opus

ILK Music
2010

buy
Optics

Optics

Self Produced
2008

buy

Related Articles

Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Piano Works CD/LP/Track Review
Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Throw Tomatoes CD/LP/Track Review
Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Reflections 2 CD/LP/Track Review
Reflections 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 26, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read "The Big Beat" CD/LP/Track Review The Big Beat
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 16, 2017
Read "Say It" CD/LP/Track Review Say It
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello" CD/LP/Track Review Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
by John Eyles
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "The Crave" CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "The Willisau Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Willisau Concert
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 9, 2017
Read "Urban Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Urban Soul
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 20, 2017