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Cortex: Live

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Hub"

As the marketing info implies, this Scandinavian quartet summons remembrances of the Ornette Coleman ensemble featuring Don Cherry performing on cornet. Yet by no means are these gentlemen copycats. Hence, each composition imparts a different story, whether the artists are melding an open-air sound with bursting breakouts and idiosyncratic intonations or generating aggressive free-form escapades on these compositions by cornetist Thomas Johansson. Other than some loosely designed Ornette inferences, these works come at you from a myriad of sharp angles, where modern jazz is uniformly merged with an avant jazz warpath. With patchy movements, bustling bop and Latin cadences, the quartet's agility, controlled power and sparky soloing jaunts maintain gobs of interest.

The frontline kick starts "Hub" with a sense of urgency patterned by Johansson's brash lines and shrewdly counterbalanced by Kristoffer Albert's boogying baritone sax notes, paired with the rhythm section's lofty Latin groove. Moving forward, the musicians incorporate a mesmeric sequence of choruses via intense dialogues and let it all hang out as drummer Gard Nilssen and bassist Ola Hayer permeate a resilient structural component that conjures imagery of a super-speed military tank plunging across enemy lines. As the artists' counterpoising of memorable progressive jazz-like movements with either brief or extended sojourns into parts unknown induce one cleverly formulated revelation after another.

Track Listing:

Personnel: Thomas Johansson: cornet; Kristoffer Alberts: reeds; Ola Hoyer: double bass; Gard Nilssen: drums.

Title: Live | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

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