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Mads la Cour's Almugi: Quartet

Eyal Hareuveni By

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Almugi is an ancient Scandinavian word that describes free men of the Kingdom who are gifted with exceptional goodness. It is also the name of an ongoing musical project of Danish cornet and trumpet player Mads la Cour, member of the Danish Radio Big Band. The first recording of this project featured la Cour in a duet with drummer Anders Mogensen and the second with a large ensemble. The Quartet is comprised with Danish musicians—clarinetist Lars Greve, double bassist Andreas Lang and drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen.

Mads la Cour has crafted a highly personal musical world that encompasses the serene, reserved Nordic jazz but corresponds with other musical worlds such as close and far folk traditions and contemporary music. The quartet plays as a band that has been playing together for years, creating an intimate, free tonal language within concise segments of collective improvisations. The close, melodic rich interplay of la Cour and Greve is naturally the heart of all pieces, all composed by la Cour. Their searching, warm sound, full with fresh, flowing ideas create an aural tapestry. Both enjoy the economic, driving pulse of Lang and Christiansen.

The gifted quartet expand la Cour's musical vision. The quartet outline beautiful, heartfelt melodies, always in a quiet, reserved manner, as on the sublime "Allmogen," the fragile, chamber "I Jules" or the contemplative "Emilie"; move to a playful, fuky mode on "Sir Dance a Lot" or suggest a gentle dance on "Araber." "Polka" present an experimental, searching side of the quartet at its introduction before the quartet unite for reciting the strong theme.

These four exceptional musicians are gifted with a rare musical gift. Inspiring, beautiful music.

Track Listing: Long John; Spam; Allmogen; Baba Ganoush; Sir Dance a Lot; I Jules; Araber; Polka; Emilie.

Personnel: Mads la Cour: cornet; Lars Greve: bass clarinet, clarinet; Andreas Lang: double bass; Kasper Tom Christiansen: drums.

Title: Quartet | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: WhyPlayJazz

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