As the jazz capital of the world, New York holds a special fascination for musicians around the world. One of them, the Danish saxophonist Christian Vuust, got the chance to fulfill his dream of living and working in the city and also recorded an album of his own music while he was there. The result is more than a souvenir from a musical tourist. It is a genuine artwork of sophisticated beauty where Vuust is able to hold his own in the company of some of the most prominent musicians on the local scene.
Vuust has frequently been collaborating with another Danish musician, guitarist Jakob Bro, and he shares Bro's love of rubato tone poems. This is evident on the aptly titled "Rubato NYC" where he slowly spins blue mournful lines through the lush laidback harmonies of pianist Aaron Parks.
Parks, who entered the big league of pianists with the solo piano recital Arborescence (ECM, 2013), shows himself as superb and thoughtful accompanist, adding a string of melodic pearls on Vuust's composition "Helgenæs" where Ben Street's understated groove carries the composition and drummer Jeff Ballard colors the music with percussion and bells.
Vuust himself makes the compositions sing with his soft and warm tone, reminiscent of fellow saxophonists Chris Cheek and Stan Getz, but he has his own expression, influenced by Scandinavian folksongs and psalms.
While the music on Urban Hymn is dynamic, reflecting the restless pulse of the city, there's also a center of meditative calm. At heart, Vuust is a balladeer who makes flowers grow through concrete and the unique musicianship of his quartet and the work of engineer James Farber, who has captured the sound perfectly, underline that in every way Urban Hymn is a musical dream come true.
Helgenæs; Lærke; Urban Hymn; Rubato NYC; Fjer; Wedding Song; Biking The
Big Apple; Tompkins Square Park; Summer Bygone.
All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.
You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.
African Jazz Ambient / New Age Blues Brazilian / Bossa Nova / Samba Contemporary / Smooth Electronica Free Improv / Avant-Garde Fringes of Jazz Funk / Groove / Acid Jazz Fusion / Progressive Rock Latin Modern Jazz R&B / Soul Straight-ahead (Bop, Hard bop, Cool) Vocal