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Origo is the Malmö, Sweden-based Plunge Trio's second collaboration with acclaimed fellow countryman/pianist Bobo Stenson, following Plunge with Bobo Stenson (Kopasetic Productions, 2005). This excellent trio's fourth release presents them at their best. The core groupAndreas Andersson on alto and baritone saxophones, bassist Mattias Hjorth and drummer Peter Nilsson on drumsalways opts for patient, spontaneous improvisation that highlights slow development of form and structure upon fiery bursts of free playing. The collaboration with Stenson enriches both sides, and enables this ad-hoc quartet to delve into more elaborate pieces. Some tunes are much more minimalistalmost abstract, yet still intense. Stenson is much more adventurous than on his ECM releases, while retaining his elegant touch and sophisticated articulation.
Origo is a multi-layered session that features the quartet's various facets. Spare and suggestive on "Clement," Stenson delivers ballad-like lines, but Plunge Trio's sensitive interplay only touches them, opting for a more open texture. The title track is slow and minimalist, with careful, balanced and emphatic interplay based on intense listening. "Metamorphing," at almost 20 minutes, moves through a wide and introspectivealmost meditativespectrum of textures and moods, with quiet intensity and delicate thematic elaboration. The closing "Wee Farewell" is another spare, contemplative piece that sums up this impressive musical meeting in a majestic manner. The patient interplay implies moods and themes in an imaginative game of nuanced and suggestive playing.
This release is a wonderful example of contemporary Scandinavian jazz. Plunge Trio with Bobo Stenson extends the Nordic tradition of cool, personal expression, challenging conventional jazz with a unique and creative improvisational method . Origo asks for an attentive listening, but each listening finds new and captivating nuances that testify to its sheer beauty .
Years ago now--in Rhodesia--listening to Voice of America with Willis Conover I heard Bunk Johnson play When The Saints Go Marching In, and Billie Holiday sing Don't Explain. I knew then there was no other life for me than jazz.