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Articles | Featured | Future

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis: We Are All

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You never know where Phronesis will turn next, but you can count on something inventive, surprising, and still true to the identity that's made them one of the premier piano trios on the world stage. They've racked up an impressive round of extracurriculars since their previous original outing Parallax (Edition, 2016): the left-field crossover The Behemoth (Edition, 2017) saw them reinventing past material with Julian Argüelles and the Radio Frankfurt Big Band. Bassist Jasper Hoiby and pianist Ivo Neame made ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis: We Are All

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The incendiary playing on the opener “One For Us" augurs well for the rest of this, the eighth album by Phronesis. Their previous CD, The Behemoth was released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim. It seems incredible that Jasper Høiby's brainchild has racked up so many consistently excellent recordings to date. Ivo Neame's “Matrix For D.A." opens with elliptical piano-phrases vying with equally curt percussion, but the duet is rapidly joined by pizzicato bass to balance the piece. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis / Julian Argüelles / Frankfurt Radio Big Band: The Behemoth

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Long regarded as the European piano trio filling a void left by the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, Phronesis has been continually evolving since their debut Organic Warfare (Loop Records, 2007). Their philosophy has been consistent across the past ten years--regarding the root “Americanisms" of jazz as anachronistic rather than required methodology, Phronesis has freed itself to absorb jazz influences in equal parts to classical, regional folk and rock inspirations. Not surprisingly, adding fifteen musicians to the mix results in a completely ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis; Julian Argüelles; Frankfurt Radio Big Band: The Behemoth

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Julian Argüelles needs no lessons on how to arrange for a big band since cutting his teeth with the 1980s jazz phenomenon Loose Tubes, later joining Chris McGregor's legendary Brotherhood Of Breath. He also has recorded over a dozen albums under his name and subsequently leading several line-ups including his latest quartet Tetra. This is the fifth album by the Scandinavian/British band Phronesis since 2010. Argüelles already had history with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band since their joint recording of ...

BEST OF / YEAR END

Nick Davies Best Releases of 2016

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In terms of jazz 2016 has been a strong year with a number of solid releases and this has made the task of choosing twelve releases all that more difficult. The selections I have made take the listening on a journey from Matthew Bourne and his experimental sounds of the Moog to Nat Birchall more traditional saxophone playing. 2016 also saw the emergence of young talent such as Elliot Galvin as well as some great independent record labels and it ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis: Parallax

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Parallax (noun) “the apparent displacement of an observed object due to a change in the position of the observer." This phenomenon is exactly how the listener new to Phronesis' oeuvre would perceive this, their sixth album recorded within the last decade.“67000 MPH" for example, is a whistle stop tour of musically-defined gravitational resistance. The mad tempo changes and frequent erratic structural modulations characterise this frenetic opening number penned by Anton Eger. But in spite of this wild compositional ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Phronesis at Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast

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Phronesis Crescent Arts Centre Belfast, Ireland May 30, 2014 You had to feel sorry for the couple, rocking up at jny:Belfast's Crescent Arts Centre fifteen minutes before show time only to be told that the concert was a sell-out. Slightly sorry, that is, because in times when jazz is often a hard sell, a 'sold out' sign is music to the ears--certainly for those lucky to have bagged a ticket for Phronesis' penultimate date ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis: Life To Everything

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In the contemporary world of jazz, when bands form, record and split with reckless disregard for longevity, Phronesis seems to have been around forever. Danish bassist Jasper Høiby formed the trio, which also includes British pianist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger, in 2005. It approaches the end of its first decade by releasing Life To Everything-- an emphatic recording from a band still filled with the enthusiasm of a group at its debut gig. Phronesis recorded ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Phronesis: Walking Dark

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As the pile of talented and exciting piano trios continues to grow ever higher, it takes a very talented and exciting threesome to rise to the top and stay there. Enter Phronesis. Up on the peak with its third album--the award-winning Alive (Edition Records, 2010), Jazz Album Of The Year in both Jazzwise and Mojo magazines--the trio is emphatically still there with album number four, Walking Dark.Danish bassist Jasper Høiby leads the band, which he formed in 2005 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Phronesis' Pitch Black: London, UK, November 16, 2011

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Phronesis Pitch Black Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall London, England November 16, 2011Latecomers might have thought the Purcell Room was experiencing technical difficulties. The punctual, however, knew the lights were out for Pitch Black. This project, unveiled at Brecon, featured Phronesis playing in total darkness. Officially the show simulates the experience of bassist [Jasper] Høiby's blind sister but it also indulges the trio's penchant for challenges.

Illuminated for the first half, the visual contact underwriting ...