All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Multiple Reviews

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...

3

Jacob Anderskov: Into the Mystery

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Music is essentially a mystery. There are multiple ways of shaping sounds and just as many ways of perceiving them. Danish pianist and Associate Professor at Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen, Jacob Anderskov, has examined the possibilities of music from a practical and scholarly point of view for a long time. His research is reflected by his records and his records are a way of documenting the process of musical exploration. The project Action VS. Reaction. New Music for Strings, Percussion and Piano resulted in the album Resonance (Stunt, 2016) while another project, Habitable Exomusics, became the foundation for an album trilogy released on ILK in 2015: Kinetics (the Path) , Statics (the Map) and Dynamics (the Terrain). A detailed analysis of the thoughts behind the project can be found here: http://jacobanderskov.dk/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/HAB_EXO-Analysis_pdf_150810.pdf

All this is to say that Anderskov is a musical thinker, but his music can also be enjoyed on a more intuitive level. Musical iconoclasts like Thelonious Monk, Steve Coleman, Henry Threadgill, Anthony Braxton and Jimmy Giuffre are able to combine complex musical thinking and swinging sounds and the same thing is the case with Anderskov who can easily move from abstract soundscapes to swinging rhythms. A proof of his diversity can be found on the records Mysteries and Out of the Spectacle. Both are trio records, but they are very different in their approach.

Jacob Anderskov
Mysteries
ILK
2018

Mysteries rides in the slipstream of the Habitable Exomusics project. Anderskov plays with the trio he introduced on the record Kinetics (the Path) where he teamed up with bassist Adam Pultz Melbye and drummer Anders Vestergaard. A lot has happened since then and the trio has become a regular working band. Thus, the present album is a live recording from Köln at the end of a European tour.

The opening track "Brekkek kekkek" gives the impression of being Dadaistic babble, but is in fact a forceful lyrical tune bookended by Anderskov's crystalline ruminations. In-between Pultz Melbye sets up a deep groove and delivers a solo while Vestergaard swings lightly, but firmly. As a contrast to the soft beginning and ending, Anderskov attacks with orchestral waves of sound that threaten to sweep the rest of the trio away, but Pultz Melbye steers the ship away from the storm.

"Anchorman" is another study in dynamics with Anderskov's characteristic twists and changes in pace with lightly dancing figures. The final track, "Origami Megalith," explores the beauty of space with dwelling chords and the bass played with bow. It is an abstract lullaby that slowly moves into dissonant chaos before moving towards silence again. The keyword is contrasts. The trio constantly navigates in a musical space between the familiar and unfamiliar. Harmony borders on dissonance and dissonance turns into melody while the approach changes between featherlight sensitivity and a physical punch on the piano whose manifold colors and shades are brought into play.

Jesper Zeuthen / Jacob Anderskov / Anders Vestergaard
Out of the Spectacle
ILK
2018

Out of the Spectacle is also a trio recording and only replaces one musician for another, but the effect is crucial. Instead of Adam Pultz Melbye's grooves, the album relies on the characteristic tone of saxophonist Jesper Zeuthen. Without the rhythmic momentum of the bass the album is searching in another way. The paths to musical mysteries are many and Anderskov is more subdued as he explores the strings on the piano and bursts out in rolling percussive attacks.

Zeuthen sings with a fragile tone like a human who learns a language for the first time. He also screams, but it is not the scream of free jazz and Albert Ayler that Zeuthen is sometimes compared with. Zeuthen's tone seems much brighter, but they have the sense of strong melody, emotional vibrato and the high-pitched cry in common.

The cover of Out of the Spectacle depicts a giant tree that could be Yggdrasil the world tree from Nordic mythology. These three musicians seem to dig at the roots of music, trying to find a language together that is both new and fresh and old and forgotten. The three parts of the record reflect a journey where songs are born out of chaos, or to put it another way: structures rise out of nothing. In that sense, the ending of part 3 is a fitting coda to the journey. Zeuthen's gently spiraling melodic lines unfold amid the repeated bell-like patterns of Anderskov's piano and Vestergaard's rustling, percussive beat. The mystery is the melody blooming in the roots of rhythm.

Tracks and Personnel

Mysteries

Tracks: Brekkek Kekkek; Anchorman; Tse Tse; Pull Up; Mysteries; Snap, Pans; Origami Megalith.

Personnel: Jacob Anderskov: piano; Adam Pultz Melbye: bass; Anders Vestergaard: drums.

Out of the Spectacle

Tracks: Part I; Part II; Part III.

Personnel: Jesper Zeuthen: saxophone; Jacob Anderskov: piano; Anders Vestergaard: drums.

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.

Related Articles

Read Scott Sharrard & Jack Pearson: Brothers by Proxy Multiple Reviews
Scott Sharrard & Jack Pearson: Brothers by Proxy
by Doug Collette
Published: November 3, 2018
Read All Over the Map with Losen Records Multiple Reviews
All Over the Map with Losen Records
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 2, 2018
Read John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection & Imagine/Gimme Some Truth Films Multiple Reviews
John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection &...
by John Kelman
Published: October 28, 2018
Read Singer/songwriters from the Shadows: Jay Bolotin and Ted Lucas Multiple Reviews
Singer/songwriters from the Shadows: Jay Bolotin and Ted...
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 25, 2018
Read Jacob Anderskov: Into the Mystery Multiple Reviews
Jacob Anderskov: Into the Mystery
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 22, 2018
Read Up From The Roots: Cary Morin, Colin James, Joanne Shaw Taylor & Chris Youlden Multiple Reviews
Up From The Roots: Cary Morin, Colin James, Joanne Shaw...
by Doug Collette
Published: October 21, 2018
Read "Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile" Multiple Reviews Van Morrison: Roll With The Punches & Versatile
by Doug Collette
Published: December 17, 2017
Read "Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre Celebrates Its First Decade
by John Eyles
Published: December 9, 2017
Read "Another Timbre completes its Canadian Composers Series" Multiple Reviews Another Timbre completes its Canadian Composers Series
by John Eyles
Published: October 16, 2018
Read "Two Sides of Marc Copland: Quartet and Solo" Multiple Reviews Two Sides of Marc Copland: Quartet and Solo
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Clean Feed 2018" Multiple Reviews Clean Feed 2018
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 9, 2018
Read "CTI on BGO" Multiple Reviews CTI on BGO
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2018