206

Zanussi Five: Zanussi Five

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Zanussi Five: Zanussi Five The Zanussi Five, brainchild of Norwegian bassist Per Zanussi, showcases his vivid, wide-ranging compositions. Zanussi is a powerful bassist with a huge, booming tone, and impeccable time, even at racehorse tempos. This music is vibrant, fast, and very modern. It is expressionistic, replete with saxophones that sigh, moan, honk, and howl. At the same time, it bursts with energy and swing.

It's also utterly unpredictable. "Valzer," for example, is a slinky waltz with a sly, witty melody that offers respite from the fireworks that have dominated much of the album prior to its emergence. The piece is seductive and deceptively gentle, until it suddenly bursts into very fast, assertive 4/4 swing as one of the musicians digs in and plays a driving, unruly improvisation on baritone saxophone. Just as suddenly, the waltz re-emerges and wends its tongue-in-cheek way.

Most of the music on this album was composed by Zanussi, although there is a wild rendition of Ornette Coleman's "Street Woman." Most of the album has a relentless, in-your-face feeling, accentuated and emphasized by the huge tones and wide vibratos of the saxophonists, as well as the clattering, albeit swinging, drumming of Per Oddvar Johansen. The three horn players are credited only as playing "saxophones," so it is impossible to know which musician is soloing at any given time. Much of the improvisation is collective or contrapuntal as the saxophonists weave complex lines around each other, the rhythm section, and the beguiled listener.

However, Zanussi's compositions are always interesting—and sometimes impressive. The opening one-two punch of "Fritz/Fri 14th" takes the listener by storm, and the album proceeds without letting up until the gentle unfolding of "Kef." Per Zanussi is to be commended for his uncompromising presentation: the jazz on Zanussi Five brooks no compromise and unflinchingly faces the future.

Track Listing: Fritz/Fri 14th, Azrah Illusion/Street Woman, Conundrum, Medardo, Duo, Valzer, Ghibli, Kef.

Personnel: Per Zanussi: bass; Kjetil Moster, Rolf-Erik Nystrom, Eirik Hegdal: saxes; Per Oddvar Johansen: drums and percussion.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Moserobie | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Petite Afrique CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Soul Garden CD/LP/Track Review Soul Garden
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 29, 2017
Read The Authorized Bang Collection CD/LP/Track Review The Authorized Bang Collection
by Doug Collette
Published: April 29, 2017
Read Cross My Palm With Silver CD/LP/Track Review Cross My Palm With Silver
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 28, 2017
Read "Intersection" CD/LP/Track Review Intersection
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 9, 2016
Read "The Voice of Robert Desnos" CD/LP/Track Review The Voice of Robert Desnos
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "Alba" CD/LP/Track Review Alba
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 7, 2016
Read "El Barranco" CD/LP/Track Review El Barranco
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "Better By Far" CD/LP/Track Review Better By Far
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 17, 2017
Read "Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play...
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 18, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!