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On Where Are the Trumpets?, Danish pianist/composer Martin Lutz leads his energetic sextet through an invigorating set of contemporary jazz laced with the sounds of Americana. The disc's ten tracks, all composed by Lutz, are cleverly arranged for the woodwind front-line of Jacob Rose, Jakob Skov and Mads Ole. Bassist Lars Johnsen, drummer Ricco Kjaer and special guest Paolo Russo on bandoneón add to the disc's rich textural blanket of sound. Although there is plenty of improvised blowing from each of the group's members, individual prowess takes a back seat to the overall ensemble sound.
Lutz's composing leans on the influence of gospel ("Lazy Sunday Gospel, "Baby Giraffe ) and South America ("Mango Tango, "Happy Fugetti ). An eclectic writer, he successfully contrasts unbridled warmth on serene numbers like "Cobalt Blue and "Farewell Niels, with ostinato-based grooves on "Where Are the Trumpets, Mr. Ibrahim? and "Drunk Young Elephant.
The seemingly unusual addition of bandoneón to the group's more conventional jazz instrumentation works surprisingly well. Russo's energy is unrelenting and he solos with aplomb on the Latin-influenced "Mango Tango, "Gone, and "Happy Fugetti.
The music on Where Are the Trumpets? is at once dense and accessible. Lutz's soothingly simple melodies are developed with patience and diligence. The results are deliberate and refreshingly soulful.
Track Listing: Where Are the Trumpets, Mr. Ibrahim?; Mango Tango; Gone; Baby Giraffe; Lazy Sunday Gospel; Flourish of Saxes For a Newborn Prince; Drunk Young Elephant; Happy Fugetti; Cobalt Blue; Farewell Niels.
Personnel: Martin Lutz: keyboards; Jacob Rose: alto saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Jakob Skov: woodwinds; Mads Ole: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Lars Johnsen: bass; Ricco Kjaer: drums, percussion; Paolo Russo: bandoneůn (2, 3, 8-10).