Casper Hoedemaekers, Heim, Elsden Music ***

Pleasant, lightly swinging, acoustic sounds are the order of the day from double bassist Casper Hoedemaekers in duo recording last spring in Hackney Wick with New Zealand born Hexham raised pianist Rob Brockway who was on the Sean Gibbs Caledonian …

Published: 25 May 2023. Updated: 9 months.

Pleasant, lightly swinging, acoustic sounds are the order of the day from double bassist Casper Hoedemaekers in duo recording last spring in Hackney Wick with New Zealand born Hexham raised pianist Rob Brockway who was on the Sean Gibbs Caledonian hard bop soaked When Can I See You Again issued in 2021. A selection mainly made up of originals of the Londoner Dutchman Hoedemaekers', Heim, ''home'', is rendered sentimental - the harmonies and modalities make sense and are familiar. Issued on east London label Elsden already active with releases including a duo recording of Wes-loving Epsom guitarist Nigel Price's and the veteran Finchley scene crooner Peter Matthews' Songs of Schpeedle Bumpkin, Hoedemaekers uses his bow on improvisations inspired by the great 20th century Jewish Romanian poet Paul Celan's 'Die Silbe Schmerz' - 'The Syllable Pain' - which are like études given their unblinking discipline and focus. The charming title track is kept to last, Brockway entering inescapably the mood music of Bengt Hallberg of 'Dear Old Stockholm' renown in a piece that harnesses both a sense of rhapsodic rapport and the rare old times. Casper Hoedemaekers, photo: press

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Thomas Fonnesbæk and Justin Kauflin, Danish Rain, Storyville ****

THE TITLE TRACK OF DANISH RAIN IS MARLBANK TRACK OF THE WEEK FOR 29 MAY-4 JUNE Unadorned and delivered with a minimum of gimmickry hugely melodic this double bass and piano album on the title track is certainly a firm highlight of these …

Published: 24 May 2023. Updated: 9 months.

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THE TITLE TRACK OF DANISH RAIN IS MARLBANK TRACK OF THE WEEK FOR 29 MAY-4 JUNE

Unadorned and delivered with a minimum of gimmickry hugely melodic this double bass and piano album on the title track is certainly a firm highlight of these modern-mainstream tracks. Together sparks fly. A duo that has already released through the same Danish label Synesthesia (2019) and Standards (2020) Danish bassist Thomas Fonnesbæk who lands in the Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen tradition was also impressive on 2022's The Touch while playing partner Maryland born pianist Justin Kauflin going back much further delivered one of 2015's very best albums on his own trio album, Dedication.

Danish Rain includes a fine version of Michel Legrand classic 'You Must Believe in Spring' where the rapport of both players delivers remarkably tender results. We are less keen on the treatment of John Lennon's 'Imagine' that does not prove as rewarding but nevertheless remains a largely enjoyable release where strong ideas developed in an intimate duo conversational understanding translate so well. Just released Danish Rain is on a par with their best work together Synesthesia particularly on that 2019 release for its serene cover of Oscar Peterson's 'Nigerian Marketplace.'

MORE LISTENING:
  • Standards (2020)
  • Synesthesia (2019)

Thomas Fonnesbæk and Justin Kauflin, photo: via InMusic

updated 29/05/23