One of the world’s great jazz bassists, the Swede Lars Danielsson, whose compositional as well as tonal and melodic gifts as an improviser make him stand out head and shoulders above many of his peers as a leader, was here with the successor in his group to the ''jazz superstar'' Tigran: French pianist Grégory Privat; the stalwart e.s.t drummer Danielsson’s fellow Swede Magnus Öström; and long-time band guitarist Londoner John Parricelli.
Theirs is a romantic sound that straddles the lilting Nordic landscapes of Danielsson’s imagination and a hybrid Mediterranean sound coloured by Parricelli whose subtle washes of electronics coated his pristine sound in considerable warmth and aided the wah-wah swagger he conjured in the second set.
Danielsson’s beautiful solo late on in the concert on Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’ was the standout moment and deservedly received sustained applause from the packed audience in this famous hall perfect for chamber music that includes this kind of largely quietly delivered and often highly cerebral jazz.
Privat was impressive in the group interplay, less so when he broke out to solo: a routine that often ended up in the same tremolo-loving tightly defined thrashing around space.
Öström was an active scamperingly alert presence using brushes to speed and scurry, sweep up and fill, but the bass ruled and within his expansive realm Danielsson’s affinity with the baroque came into its own decisively on, as he noted, the unusual 4/4-arranged ‘Passacaglia’.
Less successful were the more pastoral travelogue-type passages. However, the material overall drawn from a substantial body of work has a great deal of quality and depth to it and the quartet conveyed its prevailingly mournful sense in a meaningful way that emphasised an essential introspective desire and tendency towards a pronounced bittersweet balladry.