353

Soren Kjaergaard / Ben Street / Andrew Cyrille: Open Opus

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Soren Kjaergaard / Ben Street / Andrew Cyrille: Open Opus While it may be easy to be daunted by the sheer pyrotechnics of musicians flexing their instrumental muscles, it is sometimes forgotten that the greatest ability of musical art is to let the listener in to be part of the process; in the best of all worlds, pure admiration is replaced by participation. Danish pianist Soren Kjaergaard is one such musician, who is able to navigate safely in the waters of virtuosity while still leaving room for the listener's imagination.

The musical journey of Kjaergaard has seen him travelling across a wide spectrum of genres and sounds, encompassing jazz tradition as well as classical music and the avant-garde. While Kjaergaard's work for solo piano has seen him creating a jazz parallel to Bach's well-tempered clavier, an encyclopedia of pianistic sounds carried out with technical bravura, his American group—with bassist Ben Street and legendary drummer Andrew Cyrille—has explored the democratic territory of group interplay, creating sounds of utter beauty.

The group's first effort, Optics, saw them balancing between silence and chaos, creating lyrical free jazz where Kjaergaard's playing merged touches of Cecil Taylor with Bill Evans-like sensitivity. Open Opus moves further into a subdued aesthetics which gives plenty of room for the players' melodic and rhythmic complexities. The epic "Places Birds Fly From" is a highlight of poetic communication, where Cyrille lets his drums speak with several melodic voices, creating complex patterns of time, while Kjaergaard unfolds a fluorescent melody whose ethereal beauty is underlined by Street's floating pulse.

Elsewhere, Kjaergaard's classical influence shines through on the humorously titled "Abrahms' Paraphrase," deconstructing Brahms' romantic universe with dissonant swing. A more lyrical take on the classical sound is found on the lieder-like "Fatha," with Cyrille providing delicate percussive textures.

Open Opus is a world of sound and melodies whose complexities reveal themselves with each subsequent listen. No one plays lead on the album; instead, a lyrical, organic sound emerges as the effort of these three open-minded musicians. Breaking new boundaries in the aesthetics of the trio, Open Opus is a true work of art.


Track Listing: Like A Motherless Sun (For Sun Ra); Floating World (Ukiyo); Kanon-I-Ka; Open Opus 3; Places Birds Fly From; Open Opus 5; Fatha; Abrahms' Paraphrase; Naya.

Personnel: Soren Kjaergaard: piano; Ben Street: bass; Andrew Cyrill: drums.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: ILK Music | Style: Modern Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Convergence" CD/LP/Track Review Convergence
by Mark F. Turner
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Ed Calle 360" CD/LP/Track Review Ed Calle 360
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 17, 2016
Read "Jersey" CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 9, 2016
Read "Brel" CD/LP/Track Review Brel
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 30, 2016
Read "Cool" CD/LP/Track Review Cool
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 21, 2016
Read "Second Impression" CD/LP/Track Review Second Impression
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!