145

Joel Palsson: Prim

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Joel Palsson: Prim
The Iceman Cometh. Joel Palsson is a 26 year Old Icelandic tenorist who proves that jazz know no boundaries, racial, cultural, or national. His debut disc on the Iceland label Jazzis, Prim. The title is appropriately derived from the Icelandic term for "New Moon" or "Primal." This collection is comprised of nine original compositions plus an arrangement of an Icelandic folk song, "Pad mïlti min mïdir" ("Mother Says").

Pïlsson was born in the famous Reykjavïk, studying clarinet and saxophone in primary school. He continued a traditional education in higher education majoring in both the natural sciences and music. Following graduation in 1992, Palsson enrolled at Berklee, studying with George Garzone and Bill Pierce. He graduated Summa cum Laude in 1994. Well, Mr. Palsson looks pretty good on paper, but does he have any chops?

Did Someone Say Chops?. Palsson has got a friendly tone and performance approach whether he is playing (or composing) a complex Post Bop Head ("Urgur" ["Grump"], Lïgmarks vesen ["No Fuzz"]), a 3/4 ballad ("Hagar-Sund" ["Bus 4"]), straight ballad (Flïs vid rass ["Snug], 7undi himinn ["7th Heaven"]) or the disc's lone blues (Hland fyrir hjartaï ["Matter of Heart"]). There is nothing straight-ahead stylistically about this disc. The music is all very angular and inventive and very enjoyable listening.

Palsson's band is very good also. Highlight players are pianist Eyþïr Gunnarsson and guitarist Hilmar Jensson. His underpinning is provided by the capable Gunnlaugur Gudmunïsson on bass and Einar Scheving and Mattïas Hemstock on drums. The highlights of the disc for me were the upbeat "GISP!" (GASP) and the driving "Skriplaï ï skïtum" (Slippery Slope). I found all of the performances to be top notch and very listenable. Palsson would be a perfect addition to the Naxos Jazz stables with that label's interest in Scandinavian and other Northern European Jazz. An Icelandic Contingency would be a perfect fit.

Track Listing

Urgur (Grump); Hagar-Sund (Bus 4); Fl?s vi? rass (Snug); L?gmarks vesen (No Fuzz); 7undi himinn (7th Heaven); Hland fyrir hjarta? (Matter of Heart); GISP! (GASP!); Skripla? ? sk?tum (Slippery Slope); Bak

Personnel

Joel Palsson: Tenor and Soprano Saxophones; Hilmar Jensson: Guitar; Ey

Album information

Title: Prim | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Naxos

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Dominos
Chuck Anderson
Read Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
Jakko M. Jakszyk
Read Ceremonie / Musique
Ceremonie / Musique
What Happens In A Year

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.