All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

8

Daniel Herskedal: The Roc

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
Here we have a title that's both fitting and misleading. In Arabian mythology, a roc is a large and dangerous bird of prey capable of sinking ships and feeding on elephants. Daniel Herskedal offers a pan-Asian chamber-jazz travelogue through some exotic landscapes with his second solo release on Edition Records, but there's nothing intimidating about it. Instead The Roc is a vivid experience both adventurous and inviting.

The folk roots of Herskedal's native Norway are certainly evident and there's an inevitable jazz feeling when a tuba is in the lead, but the quintet's tones and musical structures have their other foot in western Asia (travels through which provided a measure of inspiration for these pieces). The opening "Seeds of Language" blends those things right from the start, weaving droning strings and circular piano patterns like a middle-Eastern cousin to the Penguin Café Orchestra. The cello and viola are used to sumptuous effect throughout the album, using rich tones and sinuous melodies to create a lovely alluring air of mystery.

The emphasis is on patiently weaving textures more than grabbing the ear with solos or melody lines. Herskedal coaxes impressively subtle tones from the tuba, though Eyolf Dale's piano is probably the busiest element overall. The strings most often stretch out slow and steady, each player doing their part to add the right piece to the overall picture. From the low roiling simmer of "Thurayya Railways" to a title track suitable for a camel ride, the percussion rhythms keep things at a steady canter to bring the themes of travel to life.

More than anything else, "All That Happened..." sounds like a movie score's finale for the closing credits—it begins with the record's most serene and minimalist passage, ambiguously hinting at both major and minor chords in turn, before growing to a sweeping finish with understated elegance. It's very apt to end such a picturesque recording. By this point it does indeed feel like we've watched an expansive journey unfold, and it's a tour that deserves many attentive returns.

Track Listing: The Seeds of Language; The Roc; Eternal Sunshine Creates A Desert; Kurd, Bayat, Nahawand To Kurd; Hijaz Train Station; Thurayya Railways; The Afrit; There Are Three Things You Cannot Hide: Love, Smoke And A Man Riding On A Camel; The Krøderen Line; All That Has Happened, Happened As Fate Willed.

Personnel: Daniel Herskedal: tuba, bass trumpet; Bergmund Waal Skaslien: viola; Svante Henryson: cello; Eyolf Dale: piano; Helge Andreas Norbakken: percussion.

Title: The Roc | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
The Roc

The Roc

Whirlwind Recordings Ltd
2017

buy
Slow Eastbound Train

Slow Eastbound Train

Edition Records
2015

buy
 

Dagane

Tzadik
2013

buy
 

Neck of the Woods

Hollywood & Highland Summer Jazz Concert Series
2013

buy
Neck Of The Woods

Neck Of The Woods

Edition Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Tensegridad" CD/LP/Track Review Tensegridad
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 29, 2017
Read "II" CD/LP/Track Review II
by Kevin Press
Published: November 7, 2017
Read "Apocalypse Live" CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse Live
by Martin Longley
Published: July 13, 2017
Read "Cubist" CD/LP/Track Review Cubist
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 3, 2018
Read "Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Theory In Malaya: Fourth World Volume Two
by Chris May
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "Life Stories" CD/LP/Track Review Life Stories
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 13, 2018