All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Lars Møller & Aarhus Jazz Orchestra: Glow of Benares

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
The Danish saxophonist, composer and bandleader, Lars Møller, has always been curious about the different languages of music and this curiosity has also followed him in his work as a conductor of Aarhus Jazz Orchestra. He has taken the reputable orchestra to new artistic heights with ReWrite of Spring, his bold homage to Igor Stravinskijs Sacre du Printemps, and with Glow of Benares he takes yet another musical leap, adding the Danish Sinfonietta to the line-up.

The album builds on Møller's early fascination with Indian music, which he has studied intensely and documented on an album such as Centrifugal (Stunt, 2001) that included the tabla playing of Ole Theil. Glow of Benares also includes a tabla player, but this time Møller has enlisted the Indian virtuoso, Abhijit Banerjee, and another Indian star, violin player Kala Ramnath.

The use of guest stars in a big-band setup is nothing new. In fact, it is rather the norm these days where something has to sell the music. However, the inclusion of Banerjee and Ramnath isn't about flashy solos, but the way that they help to shape a music that is truly a fusion of contemporary big band music and Indian music. The soaring violin of Kala Ramnath gets into a dialog with the orchestra as the musical voices swirl around in an intense raga on the title track. Ramnath's voice reaches the sky as Banerjee builds a polyrhythmic groove and later the full vocabulary of the big band is used to paint on a wider canvas.

Indeed, this is a music of many songs. It is vibrant and sorrowful while tactile in its attention to detail, like the unlikely combination of a funky wah-wah guitar, orchestral charts and a melancholy violin coda on "Indian Train Ride."

The best example of Møller's ability to renegotiate jazz tradition is perhaps his new version of Wayne Shorter's familiar jazz theme, "Footprints," now recast as "Mumbai Footprints." Like all the album, it is a theme that bursts with life and the will to find new ways in music by combining and respecting different cultures. Add to this a superb package with excellent notes by jazz critic Christian Munch-Hansen (both in Danish and English) and the final impression is yet another winner from Lars Møller and Aarhus Jazz Orchestra.

Track Listing: Glow of Benares; Indian Skies; Funky Jog; Indian Train Ride; Epilogue: Mumbai Footprints.

Personnel: Lars Møller: conductor, composer; Kala Ramnath: violin, vocals Abhijit Banerjee: tablas, pakhawaj with Aarhus Jazz Orchestra and The Danish Sinfonietta (Randers Kammerorkester).

Title: Glow of Benares | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Dacapo Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Glow of Benares

Glow of Benares

Dacapo Records
2017

buy
ReWrite of Spring

ReWrite of Spring

Dacapo Records
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Return to the Future CD/LP/Track Review
Return to the Future
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Telepathy CD/LP/Track Review
Telepathy
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read The Whole Thing Is Just There CD/LP/Track Review
The Whole Thing Is Just There
by John Bricker
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart – Sinfonia Concertante CD/LP/Track Review
Haydn: Symphony No. 39, Symphony No. 87, Mozart –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Rogue Star CD/LP/Track Review
Rogue Star
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read "A New Beginning" CD/LP/Track Review A New Beginning
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 23, 2018
Read "Bansangu Orchestra" CD/LP/Track Review Bansangu Orchestra
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 17, 2018
Read "Mirakler" CD/LP/Track Review Mirakler
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 9, 2018
Read "Sonic" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2018
Read "Just One More Time" CD/LP/Track Review Just One More Time
by James Fleming
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics" CD/LP/Track Review Lake of Light: Compositions for AquaSonics
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 5, 2018