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Bruno Raberg: Look Inside

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Bruno Raberg: Look Inside
Swedish-born bassist & composer Bruno Raberg has been active as a leader and a sideman for the guts of fifty years, moving seamlessly between the worlds of jazz, improvisation and, on albums such as Triloka: Music For Strings And Soloists (Orbis Music, 2017), contemporary string music. Resident in the USA since 1981, he plays in numerous settings while holding down a long-standing tenure as a teacher at Berklee. For his thirteenth release as leader, Raberg explores new terrain as he goes it alone. One musician, one bass, one vision... but a plurality of idioms.

Short, improvised segments are tethered to strong melodic moorings. This is the case on "Island Pathways," whose dancing motif bobs in and out of snappy free-form detours. Raberg's far-flung travels, both as a touring musician and as an educator, inform his playing, as do some of his principal touchstones. Africa and Miles Davis interconnect on "Kansala-Nardis," as Raberg's mbira-like, single-note run bleeds into Davis' tune. Arco melody and rhythmic plucking alternate on "Chennai Reminiscence" like a dialogue between sarangi and tabla.

The common denominator in classically-inspired original pieces such as "A Minor Excursion" and "June Poem," and on jazz standards such as Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn's "Prelude to a Kiss" and the Gershwins' "My Man's Gone Now," is Raberg's lyricism. Unhurried, welcoming of space, and exuding an earthy warmth, this is bass playing at its most enchanting. Only on the freely improvised "Gyrating Spaces" does the bassist conjure a more outré soundscape which combines pizzicato edginess, percussive rapping and a hefty dose of abstraction marked by some mischievous detuning.

A tinge of folksy Americana pervades the lovely "Ode To Spring," while "Stillness" closes the album on a hushed, meditative note. Raberg seems to have the listener firmly in mind on an accessible platter which serves up a diversity of styles and moods—all relayed with elegance and economy. As such, the program feels tailor-made for successful transfer to a live setting.

Track Listing

Island Pathways; Kansala - Nardis; Chennai Reminiscence; A Minor Excursion; Prelude to a Kiss; Gyrating Spheres; A Space Between; June Poem; My Man's Gone Now; Ode to Spring; Stillness - Epilogue.

Personnel

Bruno Raberg
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Look Inside | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Orbis Music


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