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...


Jakob Bro: Hymnotic/Salmodisk

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
The exploration of different musical formats has been one of the defining characteristics of Danish guitarist Jakob Bro for a long time. It makes perfect sense when you think about Bro's approach to music. He is an artist that likes to work with different voices to see what they can bring to the music.

Back in 2008, Bro introduced a nonet that was documented on the live-recording White Rainbow (Loveland Records, 2008). Many of the musicians that were present at that time are also a part of Bro's tentet whose release, Hymnotic/Salmodisk, takes the large format into the studio to create a lush soundscape that finally does justice to the many nuances in the group.

The sound of the group is overwhelming. There are two drummers, Kresten Osgood and Jakob Høyer, no less than three bassists, Thomas Morgan, Anders Christensen and Nicolai Munch-Hansen, and a reed-section with Jesper Zeuthen, Andrew D'Angelo and Chris Speed. This massive unit is supplemented by Nikolaj Torp Larsen on keyboard and Bro on guitar, but there is one more vital voice, the Danish poet Peter Laugesen.

It might come as a surprise to some that Bro would bring an author into his universe, but compositions with names like "Laxness" and "Hamsun," references to the Nordic authors Halldór Laxness and Knut Hamsun, have indicated a literary interest earlier on. Bro also appeared as a sideman on Danish saxophonist Christian Vuust's album Strøm (Aero Music, 2009) where Laugesen was featured as well.

Laugesen is a prominent voice on the Danish literary scene. His literary heritage is connected to the Beat Generation and he could be characterized as a Danish Lawrence Ferlinghetti. His golden, oak-aged voice is music in itself as it muses on the complexity of time, nature, words, jazz and life. Laugesen is a jazz poet and he is perfectly at home in this context with Bro.

The album begins with an Albert Ayler-esque saxophone fanfare and subtle drum thunder before a spacy keyboard and guitar lines enter, and then Laugesen speaks with his rhythmical poetry, letting words flow in glowing arabesques. On "Visne blade og sokker," he recites his lines between the complex and earthy tapestry of wooden basslines. However, Laugesen is not present on all tracks. "Daybreak," "I do remember," "Exploding suns" and "Sadness is the gladdest way to feel" are all strong instrumental tracks with polyphonic sophistication, arresting rhythms and solos.

It is the ability to combine hummable, folk-like melodies with avant-garde explosions and subtle sound poetry that makes Hymnotic/Salmodisk so special. The album is a widescreen vision from Jakob Bro in the company of an abundance of talent. It feels like a musical catharsis that dares to speak about all aspects of life.

Note: The album is released as a free download through Jakob Bro's website: but is also available as a limited vinyl edition.

Track Listing: Mergelgrav; Daybreak; Tinkerslotte; I do remember; Altings Ophav; Exploding suns; Visne blade og sokker; Sadness is the gladdest way to feel.

Personnel: Jakob Bro: guitar; Peter laugesen: poetry, recitation; Jesper Zeuthen: saxophone; Andrew D'Angelo: saxophone; Chris Speed: saxophone; Nikolaj Torp Larsen: kyeboard; Anders Christensen: bass; Thomas Morgan: bass; Nicolai Munch-Hansen: bass; Jakob Høyer: drums; Kresten Osgood: drums.

Title: Hymnotic/Salmodisk | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Loveland Records



comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances Album Reviews
Hastings Jazz Collective/Shadow Dances
By Dan McClenaghan
May 21, 2019
Read Crowded Heart Album Reviews
Crowded Heart
By Nicholas F. Mondello
May 21, 2019
Read That's a Computer Album Reviews
That's a Computer
By Jerome Wilson
May 21, 2019
Read All I Do Is Bleed Album Reviews
All I Do Is Bleed
By Paul Naser
May 21, 2019
Read LE10 18-05 Album Reviews
LE10 18-05
By Karl Ackermann
May 20, 2019
Read Remembering Miles Album Reviews
Remembering Miles
By Dan McClenaghan
May 20, 2019
Read Merry Peers Album Reviews
Merry Peers
By Bruce Lindsay
May 20, 2019