2019 Highlight: Easy Listening

Do not be deceived by the title Easy Listening from Earprint on the Endectomorph label. Just take it with a grain of salt. It's that man Kevin Sun on saxophone again (and spiky clarinet on 'Gallimaufry'), definitely one of the big discoveries of …

Published: 16 Dec 2019. Updated: 22 months.

Do not be deceived by the title Easy Listening from Earprint on the Endectomorph label. Just take it with a grain of salt. It's that man Kevin Sun on saxophone again (and spiky clarinet on 'Gallimaufry'), definitely one of the big discoveries of 2019. However, this is as much the band of trumpeter Tree Palmedo at the lead. Think Dave Douglas a bit when he works with Chet Doxas on Riverside although the Easy Listening guys' sound is less vintage. Driving ''new Cool school'' I'd describe all this if generalising. Without a harmony instrument the band have to rustle up a certain interplay that is ingeniously subtle and usually the harmonies come together via straggling trumpet and saxophone intertwinings but horn duoplay is not entirely the point as both bass and drums by adopting a very open trajectory tilt the direction of the band sound in unpredictable angles. Bassist Simón Willson and drummer Dor Herskovits complete the band and inject an urgency even when the tempo lies down. There is a deft melodicism at play to conclude and when the band run they also know how to hide away. Very cool, both upper case, and, lower case you'll C. Tree Palmedo photo via treepalmedo.com

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2019 Highlight: Keno Harriehausen Quartet

A sensation. Spanning Scandinavian jazz and the third-stream Keno Harriehausen Quartet both album and band are led by German pianist Keno Harriehausen. A Latvian-Norwegian-German quartet nowadays having been founded in Amsterdam seven years ago with …

Published: 16 Dec 2019. Updated: 22 months.

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A sensation. Spanning Scandinavian jazz and the third-stream Keno Harriehausen Quartet both album and band are led by German pianist Keno Harriehausen. A Latvian-Norwegian-German quartet nowadays having been founded in Amsterdam seven years ago with a different line-up and shaped around the Leipzig scene more recently this is very, very deep, an emotional rollercoaster that on a surface level points you to the Keith Jarrett European quartet with extra tremolos and cello for good measure and a saxophone sound (that of Kārlis Auziņš) teetering on the edge of a precipice for huge stretches.

Convincing from the very first notes. Only out a few months, you can get it on Lakeland Records.