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Lars M: Kaleidoscope

C. Michael Bailey By

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Scandanavian Savvy. Lars is the latest in a distinguished line of tenor players to digitally wax for Naxos Jazz. Previous tenor-centered releases form Naxos include: Gordon Brisker The Gift (86001-2), Donny McCaslin Exile and Discovery (86014-2), and David Sills Journey Together (86023-2). All have distinctive voices, with Møller proving to be no exception. Where Brisker's playing has a friendly mentor's personality, McCaslin a robust aggressive approach and Sills a sleek throw-back, Møller is a tonal chameleon, keeping it between the ditches. There is no John Coltrane here. Lars Møller has a well-behaved, kaleidoscopic sound.

Composition. The same can be said for his writing. I would not classify writing as Kind of Blue sketches with a take-no-prisoners approach. His writing is meticulous and methodical while coming off as very whimsically melodic. Kaleidoscope is a collection of originals and one Wayne Shorter composition ("Footprints"). All of the songs have a light as a feather performance that make them very easy listening indeed. They all have pleasant hooks that will cause the listener to be humming them days after a first hearing.

Møller's Molars. Møller is joined by his regular working band who have been performing together for the last four years, giving many concerts at home in Denmark as well as abroad. They have released three CDs at home. All members are prominent in the bustling Denmark Jazz scene.

Recommendation. Kaleidoscope is a disc like Joshua Redman's Freedom in the Grove (Warner Brothers, 46330) and Jesse Andrus' Soy Califa (DBK Jazz, 70017), music I would recommend to the traditionally nonjazz listener. It is aurally friendly with melodically hook-filled heads and obedient, inventive solos. The sonics, as always with Naxos Jazz releases, are superb, directed impeccably by the ever-present executive production of Mike Nock. This disc is a pleasant winner.


Track Listing: Afternoon Whisper, Footprints, Perspective, A Change of Plans, Emotions in Disguise, Kaleidoscope, 3rd Line for Shorter, Lite, Goodbye.

Personnel: Lars M

Title: Kaleidoscope | Year Released: 1999


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