Jasper Somsen, Invites Paul Van Der Feen and Bert Van Den Brink, Challenge ***1/2

We have long been fans of Dutch bassist Jasper Somsen and here on a live album of standards he is heard in fine fettle once again this time on home territory in Wageningen in a drummer-less setting with Metropole Orchestra saxophonist Paul Van Der …

Published: 14 Dec 2023. Updated: 4 months.

We have long been fans of Dutch bassist Jasper Somsen and here on a live album of standards he is heard in fine fettle once again this time on home territory in Wageningen in a drummer-less setting with Metropole Orchestra saxophonist Paul Van Der Feen and keyboardist Bert Van Den Brink. The twinkling Rhodes from Den Brink adds a certain likeable atmosphere to the record and Van Der Feen provides a certain Paul Desmond-like poeticism in key moments. You might feel the standards are just too familiar - 'Con Alma,' 'Gone with the Wind,' 'In a Sentimental Mood,' 'Work Song,' 'All the Things You Are,' 'My One and Only Love' and 'Footprints' - but in these hands coloured by Rhodes they practically sing and seem as relevant as ever. Somsen also has a new album Traveller's Ways out on the same label in the company of Enrico Pieranunzi and Gabriele Mirabassi in February.

Tags: reviews

Daniel Karlsson trio, Sorry Boss, Howling Jazz ***1/2

October's Sorry Boss from reliable Swedes the Daniel Karlsson trio is a release we wish that we had reviewed a little earlier for you dear readers. But never mind - forget about all the dismal Christmas tat piling up at the moment and tune in here …

Published: 13 Dec 2023. Updated: 4 months.

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October's Sorry Boss from reliable Swedes the Daniel Karlsson trio is a release we wish that we had reviewed a little earlier for you dear readers. But never mind - forget about all the dismal Christmas tat piling up at the moment and tune in here instead. The title track named after some noisy, but apologetic, builders the band encountered when touring in Birmingham comes a couple of tracks into this set of 8 original tunes. There's a certain wit in the writing and way with a hooky groove with this trio fronted by pianist/keyboardist Karlsson with the professorial bass playing of Christian Spering and laidback drumming of Fredrik Rundqvist completing the personnel. Yes you'll be thinking e.s.t. at times. But that would be too easy and too broad a brush stroke of a comparison. The trio don't end up in a dull chamber jazz cul de sac at all which is something of an occupational hazard with some well meaning European trios. Karlsson however can do serious as at the beginning of 'Confidential Document'. But he's happier away from weighty chords flying elsewhere instead into what seems at times like mortal combat with the drummer when the heat is really on. Probably best of all here you get that bittersweet melancholia say as found on 'Pigeons on the Wire' that adds yet another layer of engagement.