Penumbra Ensemble is the project of Swedish guitarist Henrik Olsson, who is based in Copenhagen. The ensemble's self-titled debut enlists noteworthy young Danish jazz musicians, including drummer Mads Forsby and saxophonist Lars Greve from Girls In Airports.
The project is carried by Olsson's original concept where musical voices are twisted and turned. There is a clear influence from abstract painting, as evidenced by the composition "Klee," a reference to the Swiss painter Paul Klee. Olsson works with different musical building blocks and places them against each other, but the musicians have freedom within the compositional framework. Hazy brass lines complement spiky guitar figures on the opener "Ba-Umf" where Forsby adds a propulsive beat.
The album is rollercoaster of sounds. At times intense and noisy and other times dreamy and ethereal, as on "Penumbra," with the echoing tones of Olsson's guitar and a chiming vibraphone. It is a surrealist vision that is also reflected on the cover where a lock of hair is placed in the middle of a poetic seascape.
Henrik Olsson has said that the wants to encourage the spontaneous energy and freedom of the musicians. He has succeeded in doing so while, at the same time, creating a deeply personal expression of avant-garde-rock, jazz, world music and poetic soundscapes.
Track Listing: Ba-Umf; The Geometry of Calypso; Melting Rainbow; Penumbra; Klee;
Nijinsky; Summon; Melted Rainbow.
Personnel: Henrik Olsson: guitar; Søren Pendrup: alto saxophone, clarinet; Lars
Greve: alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet; Nicolai Claesson:
upright bass, electric bass; Mads Forsby: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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