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...


Klaus Nørgaard: Village Life

Jakob Baekgaard By

Sign in to view read count
Some albums seem to capture a season perfectly. Jazz bassist Klaus Nørgaard, a mainstay of the Danish scene, has done this with Village Life, an album that brims with autumnal delight. The track "August Dance" is the equivalent of watching many-colored leaves dance in the wind. Drummer RJ Miller makes a light beat like castanets. He is accompanied by the elegant horn duo of saxophonist Ned Ferm and trombonist Mads Hyhne.

At first, Nørgaard does not command much attention, but listen and the fluid pulse of his bass is everywhere. Notes are gently plucked like ripe apples from a tree. Nørgaard takes the time to let the music breathe. He helps to provide the elusive quality of jazz called swing, taking a stroll down the street with a swagger that is neither rushed nor slow.

The spacious feeling of the music is supported by Jorge Rossy. To some listeners, he will be familiar as the drummer in Brad Mehldau's classic trio, but he has reinvented himself as a vibraphonist and his crystalline tones add to the relaxed and dreamy atmosphere of the music.

But make no mistake, as a composer, Nørgaard isn't satisfied with stillness. His music is in movement and the poetic quality of his tunes is balanced by a cool sense of swing that keeps the pieces from meandering. He also has a knack for writing crisp and catchy lines that are shaped into melodic themes. The players in the group add different layers to the music, not least Miller, who is a subtle sound painter as well as an advanced timekeeper whose feeling for the pulse of the music fits Nørgaard's approach perfectly.

The music gently strolls along and the vocal track "Unrequited Love" is a nice variation to the instrumental tracks. Here, singer Eva-Louise Rønnevig sings that "I'll try to put this village life aside," but the feeling of the album is more of a village than a city and that is altogether a good thing.

The ending, the epic "Blue Arara," concludes the album in a beautiful way with guest guitarist Jacob Funch adding a circling melodic motif that spreads like rings in water. It is the kind of seemingly simple music that Jakob Bro has perfected. Here it is felt in Nørgaard's music. It combines many elements into a strong effort of modern autumnal swing music for city hipsters dreaming about moving to the countryside.

Track Listing: For the Duration; Relaxin at Digevej; Eleseus; August Dance; The Deep Days; Unrequited Love; Blue Arara.

Personnel: Klaus Nørgaaard: bass; RJ Miller: drums; Jorge Rossy: vibes; Mads Hyhne: trombone; Ned Ferm: tenor saxophone; Eva-Louise Rønnevig: vocal; Jacob Funch: guitar.

Title: Village Life | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Gateway Music



comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You Album Reviews
Ain't Nothing But a Cyber Coup & You
By Dan McClenaghan
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Nexus Album Reviews
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 23, 2019
Read The Second Coming Album Reviews
The Second Coming
By Daniel Barbiero
May 23, 2019
Read Luminária Album Reviews
By John Sharpe
May 23, 2019