Daniel Herskedal: VoyageBy
One again, Herskedal teams up with pianist Eyolf Dale and percussionist Helge Andreas Norbakken, though there are new colors to Herskedal's sonic palette. Violist Bergmund Waal Skaslien is prominent throughout, both harmonicallyin tandem with the tubistand as a lead voice. Syrian oud player Maher Mahmoud, who has also collaborated to striking effect with Blood Sweat Drum 'n' Bass, brings Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors to Herskedal's melodic and often cinematic arrangements. Throughout, Herskedal weaves neo-classical, folkloric and jazz threads to highly evocative effect, with mood generally trumping individual virtuosity, with several notable exceptions.
Dale shines on the vibrant opener, "Batten Down the Hatches." Here, insistent tuba pulse, skittering drums and choppy piano are suggestive portents of storm, though the pronounced lyricism in Herskedal and Skaslien's unison lines holds forth. On "Cut and Run" Herskedal delivers a deep-bass, rubato solo, an interlude in what is essentially an ensemble piece. To a large extent, in fact, Herskedal harnesses the instruments with quasi-orchestral vision, notably on "The Mediterranean Passage in the Age of Refugees" and "The Great Race, Padua Vs Passat." The former marries brooding intensity with repetitive rhythms that seem to hint at the inexhaustible waves of migrants desperately seeking refuge in Europe, while the latter simmers with episodic, wide-screen drama.
Norbakken is a deft colorist throughout, his martial tattoo underpinning the bold yet elegant "Chatham Dockyard" and his propulsive frame-drum fuelling the visceral "The Gulls Are Tossed Paper in the Wind." Yet it's striking just how much of the music's tensions and rhythmic currents derive from Herskedal's tuba, particularly from his use of looped motifs. Beauty abounds in Herskedal's playing too, in the harmonies forged with viola on the uplifting "The Horizon," which features a delightful piano coda, or in his mournful lyricism on the dramatic, Arabic-hued "Rescue at Sea Operations." Beguiling too, is Herskedal's solo piece "The Lighthouse," where looped, hymnal harmonies form the bedrock for an achingly tender solo.
Voyage marks another arresting chapter in Herskedal's singular musical journey. His embrace of diverse musical cultures results in musical narratives rich in color, textures and depth. The wind is at his back now. Who knows where it will lead him next?
Batten Down The Hatches; Cut And Run; The Mediterranean Passage In The Age Of Refugees; The Great Race, Padua Vs Passat; Chatham Dockyard; The Horizon; The Gulls Are Tossed Paper In The Wind; Molly Hunt's Seagulls; Rescue-At-Sea Operations; The Lighthouse.
Daniel Herskedal: tuba, bass trumpet; Bergmund Waal Skaslien: viola; Eyolf Dale: piano; Helge Andreas Norbakken: percussion; Maher Mahmoud: oud (3, 9).
Title: Voyage | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Edition Records
Post a comment about this album
FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZAll 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.
WE NEED YOUR HELPTo 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.
About Daniel Herskedal
Instrument: TubaArticle Coverage | Calendar | Albums | Photos | Similar Artists