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Soren Kjaergaard / Ben Street / Andrew Cyrille: Syvmileskridt

Jakob Baekgaard By

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The relationship between stillness and movement is something that has occupied pianist Soren Kjaergaard for a long time and with bassist Ben Street and drummer Andrew Cyrille, Kjærgaard has found the perfect vehicle to explore the essence of musical creation. Syvmileskridt is the fourth album from the trio.

Each musician is a master in his own right, but individual excess isn't the point in this group that shuns the trite formula of head-solo-head. Instead, the virtuosity of the trio is used to approach a completely organic ideal where the textures of the instruments are clear and distinct and yet bleed into each other like a breathing organism whose shape shifts in a musical metamorphosis. Solos are played, but emerge naturally out of the context.

Syvmileskridt begins and ends with Cyrille playing in strict meter. The opener is called "Cyrillic Circle (In)" and the closing title "Cyrillic Circle (Out). The album forms a circle, but the interesting thing is to hear how the musicians continually break the boundaries they set for themselves. The circle narrows and expands as Cyrille suddenly swings in free time and Kjærgaard breaks out of a locked piano pattern.

The trio has the whole history of jazz at their fingertips, but the most impressive thing is how naturally they combine inside and outside playing. "Syvmileskridt" is an infectiously swinging tune, but also a study in delicate harmonies. Kjærgaard, both a scholar of John Cage and Duke Ellington, plays with a knowledgeable sense of silence and each stroke on the keys falls like a feather flying in the wind.

Both "Ballad No. 4" and "Under A Canopy Of Leaves" show how the group is able to play with silence and create something out of nothing, but there is also room for dynamic playfulness on "Tripple Skip" that brings to mind the joyous energy of pianist Thelonious Monk.

Simply put, Kjærgaard, Street and Cyrille are capable of going in all musical directions. They bring out the silence in movement and the movement in silence.

A note: The album is released digitally and on a high-end limited edition vinyl of 300 copies. The vinyl comes with a digital download of the album + 30 minutes of exclusive bonus material from the session (C-sides).

Track Listing: Cyrillic Circle (In); Syvmileskridt; Under A Canopy of Leaves; 4x12; Ballad No. 4; Tripple Skip; Beryllic Bell; Intersection No. 7; Cyrillic Circle (Out).

Personnel: Søren Kjærgaard: piano; Ben Street: bass; Andrew Cyrille: drums.

Title: Syvmileskridt | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: ILK Music

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