Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

313

Pasborg's Odessa 5 Blasts Helsinki

Anthony Shaw By

Sign in to view read count

Pasborg's Odessa 5
Rytmihairioklubi at Juttutupa Bar, Helsinki
October 1, 2008



Stefan Pasborg is yet another Nordic artist gradually raising his profile across international borders as he leads his new five-piece outfit around Europe this autumn. Started on his career with a gift of drums to the then 3-year-old boy from Godfather and celebrated fellow Danish drummer Alex Riel, Pasborg progressed rapidly on the instrument, lately starting the ensemble Odessa 5 to exploit the textures of a truly brassy instrumentation. The band playing in Helsinki on October 1 included the local saxophonist Mikko Innanen, a Pasborg favorite as well as a stalwart of many young Finnish free- and experimental ensembles in his home country. But despite Innanen's stellar contributions, the program was largely a Danish affair (though the term Viking springs more readily to mind).



That designation was indeed the title of the encore ending an evening of sometimes raucous, sometimes rare pieces from this exciting young band. Unlike the band's eponymous album released this autumn and using trombone and cornet, the evening was dominated by the three saxophones of Innanen, original member Anders Banke, and Pasborg's old collaborator: Lithuanian Liudas Mockūnas. With all members repeatedly switching from tenor to either soprano or baritone the sonic textures ranged from unison onslaught to delicate woodwind harmonies. Most pieces exploited the players' individual virtuosity, but in principle the writing for the group emphasized collectivity rather than individuality. With Pasborg's soloing disposed of with the opening piece, the program flowed between experimental and classic reed-based inventiveness. Hints of Klezmer and nods to New Orleans reappeared frequently amidst the turmoil of rhythms and riffs, as well as a 12-minute medley of Ornette Coleman tunes and a piece by Julius Hemphill, always knitted tightly by Pasborg's strong drumming.



For visual impact and for extreme virtuosity in the lower registers, all laurels must go to bassist Jakob Munck—performing the role not on tuba but on surely the rarest of modern jazz instruments, the sousaphone. The most visibly outfitted Viking in the band, Munck dominated the back stage with a combination of tousled red hair, coils of tarnished and battered brass, and an outpouring of mellifluous lines. With its very directional sound (and unmistakable visual impact) the instrument demands attention, which it received from a highly appreciative audience—though again it's noteworthy that the instrumentalist's musical role was always subordinate to a collective, collaborative result.  In fact, the mellowness of blown bass lines worked exquisitely with the lower registers of the saxophones, and to the vibrancy of the animated independent saxophone lines it added a haunting, deeply spacey feeling.  Odessa—a name that to film buffs evokes Eisenstein's mind-blowing The Battleship Potemkin.  As an explosive musical group, Odessa 5 is certainly a band to be blown away by.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC Winter Jazzfest Live Reviews Lean On Me: José James Celebrates Bill Withers @ NYC...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano Live Reviews Carl Bartlett, Jr. at Jazz At Kitano
by Keith Henry Brown
Published: January 13, 2018
Read Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook Live Reviews Terence Blanchard at Christ Church Cranbrook
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 29, 2017
Read Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club Live Reviews Gary Peacock Trio at the Regattabar Jazz Club
by Nat Seelen
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Little Feat at the Paramount" Live Reviews Little Feat at the Paramount
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at the New York City Baha’i Center" Live Reviews Art Lillard's Heavenly Big Band at the New York City...
by Tyran Grillo
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall" Live Reviews The Songs of Scott Walker (1967-70) at Royal Albert Hall
by John Eyles
Published: August 19, 2017
Read "Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's" Live Reviews Tortilla Soup with Tony Lindsay At Yoshi's
by Walter Atkins
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main" Live Reviews Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2017