Friends & Neighbors: The Earth Is #By
What is evident from Friends & Neighbors' music is their penchant to intertwine then untangle knotty and sometimes intricate compositions. And they do so with such ease and finesse. Pianist Oscar Grönberg's "Untitled" stops, then jumps sideways with an Ellingtonian grace before the the piano's locomotion launches saxophonist André Roligheten's soused solo. The charm here is both the tight compositions and the disciplined liftoff from those compositions.
On the title track, trumpeter Thomas Johansson (Cortex, Paal Nilssen-Love Large Unit) trades energy bursts in his call-and- response with Roligheten, before soloing with his mute both in and out. This may be the tightest most methodized improvisation recording of the year. By that is meant that the musicians' solos never loose sight of the motifs of each composition. Jon Rune Strøm's bass solo opens "Father's Birthday," which progresses as if it was coming from an Eric Dolphy Blue Note Records session of the 1960s. Drummer Tollef Østvang drives the pulse as Roligheten works his bass clarinet. The final track "Joseph" written by Strøm, reminds one of the Ornette Coleman tribute band Old And New Dreams, where the quintet assembles, disassembles, then reassembles the lush melody. This is the quintet's finest effort so far.
Halifax; Untitled; Salad Days; The Earth Is #; Father´s Birthday; Sidelinja; Joseph.
Andre Roligheten: saxophone, tenor; Thomas Johansson: trumpet; Oscar Grönberg: piano; Jon Rune Strøm: bass, acoustic; Tollef Østvang: drums.
Title: The Earth Is # | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records