118

J: Septett

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
J: Septett Multi-instrumentalist Jóel Pálsson has come into his own over the past five years. A native of Reykjavik, Iceland, Pálsson was a mere 25 years old when he emerged onto the recording scene with his first commercial release, Prím. Fresh out of Berklee, having studied under George Garzone and Bill Pierce, Mr. Pálsson’ freshman effort was characterized by an allegiance to both Ed Bickert and John Abercrombie in that he is both muscular and intelligent in his musical approach, even when the rock backbeat predominates. Originally, released on the Icelandic Jazzis label, Pálsson’s exuberant debut was picked up and distributed by Naxos Jazz . Pálsson followed up Prím with 2001 release of Klif on the Omi Jazz label (the label's first). Well-received in these pages, Pálsson was still using electric instruments and was still directly fixed in the contemporary jazz/fusion vein. Spacious and introspective, Klif might be the archetype for Icelandic Jazz. That theory works for a bit, until you spin Septett.



Septett can be framed as a 21st Century Birth of the Cool. Here, Pálsson expands his band from four to seven members, adding trumpet and reeds while replacing the guitar with an organ. The results are a very modern Cool Jazz. The compositions, all Pálsson’s, are brilliantly convoluted and complex, rigidly composed and effortlessly performed. This is music with unexpected and potently sensuous contours. Of note are the selections where Sigurõur Flosason performs on the bass clarinet. He is a magical cross between Harry Carney, Eric Dolphy, and Marty Ehrlich. Eypór Gunnarsson’s keyboards are tasteful without giving the music a roadhouse flavor. The predominantly acoustic recording makes this writer hope for more of the same from this talented Icelander and his merry band of islanders and expatriates.


Track Listing: Surta, Yggur, Gooi Datinn, Hum, Seinni Frettir, Hundar, Kvabb .

Personnel: J

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Omi Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Return" CD/LP/Track Review Return
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Better Than Anything" CD/LP/Track Review Better Than Anything
by Tyran Grillo
Published: April 20, 2016
Read "Source" CD/LP/Track Review Source
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Mettã" CD/LP/Track Review Mettã
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 26, 2016
Read "Alien Flower Sutra" CD/LP/Track Review Alien Flower Sutra
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!