Any album self-described as 'experimental' is inevitably going to invite comparisons. The most obvious one applicable to pianist and composer, Jeppe Zeeberg might be Frank Zappa. But in fairness, Zeeberg's The Four Seasons, the third record under his own name, is mainly representative of his own unique and fertile imagination. Yes, there are occasional interspersions of Suzy Creamcheese-like spoken word and eerie sound effects and as with the erratic staccato opening of "Winter:Segway To Hell," a gradually evolving rhythmic pulse sucking the listener into Zeeberg's idiosyncratic world. But ultimately, whilst inescapably derived from a variety of sources and influences, this is still a very novel sound.
A repeated rock-infused riff on "Dancing Like A Dane" has distinct brass-heavy Sex Mob like overtones intermingled with sections of dramatic chords. The dulcet summer interlude of "For Those Now Gone" as dreamily evinced by the horn section drastically contrasts sharply with the Philip Glass/Terry Riley-esque hypnotically repetitive minimalism of "The Mess and the See-Through Dress."
Autumn's "Song for the Relatively Young" is heralded by a relaxed brass-led theme, which gradually breaks-down into less predictable lines over which Erik Kimestad Pedersen steadfastly solos on trumpet followed by Zeeberg evincing cascades of hectic, angular piano. The suite concludes with "Winter: Mit Starren Fingern" in appropriately cyclical fashion by a repeat of the morse code-like rhythmic pattern of the opening track, a general ensemble melee and a satisfying chordal resolution.
With no disrespect intended to the thousands of musicians who produce hundreds of albums every year, it is genuinely refreshing to hear a record like The Four Seasons which is just so different and instantly engaging. If Zeeberg isn't a genius then he certainly ranks pretty close to one.
Winter: Segway to Hell; Spring: Yellow Fingers of the Morning; Spring: Dancing Like a Dane; Summer: For Those Now Gone; Summer: The Mess and the See-Through Dress; Fall: Song for the Relatively Young; Fall: Sky Piece; Winter: Mit Starren Fingern
Erik Kimestad Pedersen, trumpet; Lars Greve, saxophone, clarinet; Petter Hängsel, trombone; Kristian Tangvik, tuba; Henrik Olsson, guitar; Casper Nyvang Rask, bass; Rune Lohse, drums, percussion; Teis Søgaard, drums; Jonas Graverholt, percussion; Jeppe Zeeberg, piano, synth, organ
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