4

Traeben: Push

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
With a Danish frontline and Dutch rhythm section, Den Haag-based Træben draws much of its inspiration from the chamber jazz which came out of Los Angeles and San Francisco in the late 1950s and 1960s. Hummable melodies, cool swing, mellifluous improvisation. The whisper rises to a conversational murmer but rarely raises its voice. This is sunny, summer afternoon music.

Push is the group's second album, following 2009's Nordic Project (Jarr). With the exception of a new drummer, Haye Jellema, who joined in 2011, the lineup is unchanged: guitarist Jens Larsen, tenor saxophonist Søren Ballegaard and bassist Olaf Meijer.

Larsen is the chief composer, writing nine of the tunes to Ballegaard's one. He is also an amiable improviser, in a lineage which stretches from Barney Kessel to Pat Metheny (without the synths and effects), with barely a nod to Wes Montgomery. His pure, round tone and fluid single note runs have an airy vibe which is matched by Ballegaard's translucent tenor. Together, the duo suggest reed player Jimmy Giuffre's pairing with guitarist Jim Hall at the end of the 1950s, and the quartet's arrangements employ similar devices as Giuffre's: classical and folk-inspired extended forms with room for a cappella interludes, and vamps that create a moderate intensity, occasionally building to urgency.

Træben has yet to touch the ineffable heights of the Giuffre/Hall group, but Push is enjoyable enough listening. There is a certain sameness, however, which ultimately works against the album. It is for the group to decide on its direction, but it could usefully consider embracing the textural manipulations and layering possibilities modern technology offers.

However it goes about it, to reach the next level the group needs to stamp a more singular character on the music, or at least its presentation.

Track Listing: Top Dog; Try to Remember; God Makes Backups; Can You?; Catatraffic; All It Needs; We’ll Let You Know; Simple Things; Nothing Or Nothing At All; Mi Hijo.

Personnel: Jens Larsen: guitar; Søren Ballegaard: tenor saxophone; Olaf Meijer: bass; Haye Jellema: drums.

Title: Push | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Jarr Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Wobbly Danse Flower CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Carry Fire CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017
Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "Of Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Of Tides
by John Eyles
Published: March 7, 2017
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "I Believe In You" CD/LP/Track Review I Believe In You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 18, 2017
Read "Circles" CD/LP/Track Review Circles
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Grey Mirror" CD/LP/Track Review Grey Mirror
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 6, 2017
Read "Wake Up Call" CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.