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Torben Westergaard: Then/Now

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Torben Westergaard: Then/Now
While Torben Westergaard has had a grand time bouncing from one surprising idea to another to another in previous years—crossing oceans with his Tangofied series, crossing continents with the Euro-Korean Gori Project (self produced, 2020), plus a few more niche-focused detours in between—it turns out it is just as pleasant to hear him settled on comfortably familiar ground. Rather than searching for a particular theme, Westergaard found himself in a more introspective mood as a result of pandemic-mandated time at home.

Then/Now started with the prospect of developing musical ideas already sitting on the shelf, then organically grew into a sort of cross-section of his entire musical past and present (or as much as can be covered in barely half an hour). The cast is packed with friends from Argentina and Norway, many of whom have appeared on previous albums going back to 1998. The South American side of Westergaard's music meshes beautifully with worldly soundscapes or the lush ambience of Heart Tunes (self produced, 2018). The mix makes an old/new tone fresh enough to feel timeless.

The leader's musical spirit is consistent here, as ever; there is still a subtle joy and positivity which runs through everything, regardless of the musical dressing. For the opener, we are in tango-tinged territory with a beachy samba, light as the breeze. Next it is a whimsical folky singalong, followed by a subtle jam with flutes and earthy percussion. More tasty grooves and hummable hooks come and go, always with Westergaard's warm electric bass as a pleasant anchor, colored with anything from rich bass clarinet to nylon guitar and floating strings. Each idea spins out perfectly naturally and turns into something uplifting, always finding beauty in simplicity.

Track Listing

Delta; Uro i September; Alpha; Prelude; Jacob; Gamma; Hvalsø; Beta.

Personnel

Torben Westergaard: bass, electric; Anders Banke: saxophone, tenor.

Additional Instrumentation

Mariano Tiki Cantero: percussion (1, 3, 6, 8); Dario Eskenazi: piano (1, 3, 5, 6, 8); Søren Kragh- Jacobsen: vocal (2); Ida Nørholm: cello (2, 4, 5, 7); Alejandro Sancho: acoustic guitar (2, 4, 5, 7); Ernesto Snajer: acoustic and electric guitar, charango (1, 3, 6, 8); Sophie Ziedoy: vocal (1, 2).

Album information

Title: Then/Now | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced

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