Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Toldam / Riedel / Berg / Wiklund / Christensen: Tak for dit brev


Toldam / Riedel / Berg / Wiklund / Christensen: Tak for dit brev


Sign in to view read count
Toldam / Riedel / Berg / Wiklund / Christensen: Tak for dit brev
Danish pianist Simon Toldam has made his mark as an abundantly creative improviser, most recently manifest on his work with Ways—a duo comprised of saxophonist Brodie West and drummer Evan Cartwright. Their Fortunes (Lorna Records, 2020) was an album defined by unusual gestures and subtle refractions, keeping the listener guessing throughout. Toldam's latest release, Tak for dit brev (the title translates as "Thank You For Your Letter") isn't as overtly adventurous, but it still possesses plenty of quiet charm, and is perhaps even more endearing for its soft-hued, tranquil beauty.

Used here in various configurations, Toldam's partners—bassists Georg Riedel and Anders Christensen, cornetist Tobias Wiklund, and bass clarinetist Nils Berg—mesh wonderfully in support of Toldam's simple melodic figures. But the music is anything but simple, as it leaves room for Toldam's trademark appreciation of timbre and texture to surface. Berg's role is pivotal, as the recording captures his deep, earthy tone perfectly; his jaunty contributions to the waltz-like "Nu Sejler Vi" give the track its joyful buoyancy. Elsewhere his plaintive, lonesome lament brings somber color to the pensive "Måneløb." And while all five musicians do not often appear together here, they do on the opener, "Mor," and it is a transfixing moment, with the two basses playing complementary roles (one arco, the other a spartan pizzicato) and Berg conjoined with Toldam, who opens the cut on clarinet before transitioning to piano, thereby making room for Wiklund to emerge potently as the second horn.

The pianist's fluidity and melodic sensibility on "Opdrift" give it the feel of a Keith Jarrett piece, while "Godmorgen træ" (again with Toldam on clarinet) evinces an austere tenderness which effaces any concern with virtuosity and simply allows the listener to succumb to the piece's lyrical enchantments. What gives the album its unifying vision is Toldam's sensitivity to nuance and restraint, letting the music, rather than the performers, take center stage. And his compositions have the richness and depth to warrant such an approach.

Track Listing

Mor; Nu Sejler VI; Måneløb; Luft; Et Postkort; Opdrift; Den Blå Stol; Albert´s Tic Tac; Godmorgen træ; Gå Gå Gå; Dansk Kulturarv; To Virkeligheder.


Nils Berg
clarinet, bass
Georg Riedel
bass, acoustic
Anders Christensen
bass, acoustic
Additional Instrumentation

Simon Toldam: clarinet.

Album information

Title: Tak for dit brev | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: ILK Music



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Silent, Listening
Fred Hersch
Riley Mulherkar
3 Works For Strings
Giusto Chamber Orchestra
My Multiverse
Pearring Sound


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.