3

Morten Schantz: Godspeed

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Morten Schantz: Godspeed Old friendships are never forgotten, and sometimes they grow stronger as time goes by. This is also the case with musical friendships. Back in the days, in 2005 exactly, pianist and composer Morten Schantz played with saxophonist Marius Neset and drummer Anton Eger in the acclaimed group JazzKamikaze. They were full of youthful energy and to this day, the group has not officially disbanded.

The members have also moved on to other projects. Both Neset and Eger eventually became affiliated with the prestigious British label, Edition Records, and made a name for themselves. Neset as a solo artist, who later moved on to ACT Records, and Eger as an essential part of the power-trio, Phronesis, perhaps one of the most profiled acts in the Edition roster.

Now the three musicians are united again with a record on Edition Records, naturally, and this time with Schantz in the role of the leader.

Godspeed is Schantz' ambitious attempt to create a coherent album that is not only a collection of tunes, but an organic work of art where each piece is a part of a greater whole. Perhaps Schantz' greatest gift is the way he constructs a narrative arc in his music. The flow in the album takes the listener through the acoustic oasis of "Cathedral," with reminiscences of J.S. Bach's piano music, the playful avant-garde miniature, "Nuclear Fusion" and, not least, the epic compositions like the title track, "Growing Sense," "Martial Arts," "Ceasefire," "Drill" and "Dark Matter."

Those six tracks are the core of the album and they all showcase Schantz' ability to create musical epiphanies that in many ways are the result of Schantz' music being too much. The instruments he plays are a case in point. There are simply too many to mention, but among them are strings and beat machines, vintage synthesizers and all sorts of keyboards. Luckily, it is the machines that serve the music and not the other way around.

The interplay between Eger's organic drums and the beats creates a fascinating effect and like Schantz, Neset's playing is also too much, but again in a positive sense. He embraces the full drama of the music, bringing aspects of Nordic lyricism, instrumental fury and smooth sounds to the table.

The final result is music that creates such a rare thing in jazz as anthems. Schantz is able to embrace a carefully constructed dramaturgy as his music often explodes or unfolds in melodic hooks that are so grand that they would fit a stadium. Godspeed is the closest thing that sophisticated jazz fusion will come to pure pop music.

Track Listing: Silence in the Tempest (Part I); Godspeed; Escape Velocity; Growing Sense; Martial Arts; Airglow; Ceasefire; Cathedral; Drill; Nuclear Fusion; Dark Matter; Silence in the Tempest (Part II).

Personnel: Morten Schantz: Fender Rhodes; Electric Piano; Sequential Prophet 6; Roland Juno 60; Moog Sub 37; Korg MS-20 mini; Korg Volca Keys; Solina String Ensemble; Waldorf Streichfett; Arturia Beatstep Pro; Upright Piano & handclaps; Marius Neset: soprano and tenor saxophones; Korg MS-10 bass synth on “Martial Arts”; rhodes solo; handclaps; Anton Eger: drums, percussion & handclaps.

Title: Godspeed | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Edition Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Second Act CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Imaga Mondo CD/LP/Track Review Imaga Mondo
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Port Of Call CD/LP/Track Review Port Of Call
by John Sharpe
Published: August 23, 2017
Read May I Introduce To You CD/LP/Track Review May I Introduce To You
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2017
Read Honey And Salt CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read To the Bone CD/LP/Track Review To the Bone
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Mannequins" CD/LP/Track Review Mannequins
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 9, 2017
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Second Act" CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Flux" CD/LP/Track Review Flux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 26, 2016
Read "Together, As One" CD/LP/Track Review Together, As One
by Ian Patterson
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.