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Jakob Bro: Gefion

Jakob Baekgaard By

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Throughout his career, Danish guitarist Jakob Bro has continued to refine and improve his musical expression. It has been a constant search that has taken him in many different directions, from the refined chamber-playing and melodic purity on the Balladeering-trilogy to remix experiments with electronic musician Thomas Knak.

Another way he has challenged himself is through the exploration of different musical formats. Gefion sees him returning to the trio-format that he has previously explored successfully with bassist Anders Christensen and drummer Jakob Høyer.

This time, he is in the company of bassist Thomas Morgan, a frequent collaborator, and drummer Jon Christensen. Together they are the perfect unit to work with a wide range of musical colors.

Bro's guitar lines echo into the air on "White," a kind of slow, abstract Nordic blues that retains a melodic center. Melody is still a strong component of Bro's approach to composition, but on Gefion melody and ethereal soundscapes intertwine. It takes around 3 minutes before the leading guitar figure is introduced on the title track, but then it breaks through like a ray of sunshine in the morning mist.

In the booklet, there is an image of Jon Christensen playing the cymbals with his hands and this image becomes a metaphor for his soft and organic touch where the drum kit is like a rainbow of subdued sounds rather than a provider of solid rhythm.

It is also relatively seldom that bassist Thomas Morgan plays straight-ahead, but on "And They All Came Marching Out of The Woods" he provides a regular walking bass rhythm that emulates the marching of the title.

Jakob Bro is certainly also on the move. Gefion is another exciting chapter in his musical journey and Christensen and Morgan are congenial travelers that lead him into new and unexplored territory where the boundary between melody and abstraction begins to blur.

Track Listing: Gefion; Copenhagen; And They All Came Marching Out of the Woods; White; Lyskaster; Airport Poem; Oktober; Ending.

Personnel: Jakob Bro: guitar; Thomas Morgan: double bass; Jon Christensen: drums.

Title: Gefion | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: ECM Records

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