Two Way Street is the impressive and raucous debut by the youthful Scandinavian trio known as Roundtrip. Formerly called Mega Tsunami, the group changed its name after the recent disaster in Southeast Asia. These nine offerings are clever, rhythmically charged compositions, with Klaus Ellerhusen Holm's alto and baritone work clearly rooted in the exuberance of his main influences, Eric Dolphy and Sonny Simmons.
Holm's adventures, fueled by bassist Ole Morten Vågan and drummer Ole Thomas Kolberg, are surprisingly patient and intelligent considering the group's often voluminous, seemingly rampant approach to improvisation. Tunes like "Gibsy Love," "Sweden," "Texas," and "Free Seven" are, at first listen, works of madnesspure and rampant with energy. On subsequent sessions, though, the group's method comes to the fore, revealing intentions, wit, and structures where at first only wackiness was heard.
Intelligent and rebellious, somehow nerdy and sexy, Two Way Street is excellent proof that jazz and youth make wonderful bedfellows. And unlike the ambiguous output of recent "jazz" bands like the Bad Plus, Roundtrip delivers the goods without all that rock-pop junk.
Gibsy Love; Jimmy; Sweden; Free Two to Five; P.B; A.A; Gushes From the Past; Texas; Free
Klaus Ellerhusen Holm: alto, baritone saxophone; Ole Morten V