Being & Becoming, Ars Memoria, More is More ****

With sprawling, often super long explorations all part of the action, the main drama of the record is in the interplay between high wire trumpeter Peter Evans and the Boswell to his Dr Johnson vibist Joel Ross. Wrapped by a rumble of bass from Nick …

Published: 2 Nov 2023. Updated: 5 months.

With sprawling, often super long explorations all part of the action, the main drama of the record is in the interplay between high wire trumpeter Peter Evans and the Boswell to his Dr Johnson vibist Joel Ross. Wrapped by a rumble of bass from Nick Jozwiak and always-on drumming from Michael Shekwoaga Ode, Ars Memoria with its thoughtful and often airy feeling doesn't easily belong to any category. Recorded in New York in 2022 and 23 with the title track a live glimpse of the band, you get an easy sense of an experimental mindset at play which has crucially reached some sort of solution in exploring the challenging musical directions the band members are seeking together. Certainly you gain a sense of resolution in each piece whether on the edgily ambient 'Salah' or plangent 'Opus 5'. Evans once again displays what a world class player he is.

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Bliss Quintet, Glasshouse, Jazzland ***1/2

An often introspective and sensitive sound Bliss Quintet from Norway blend quarter tone trumpet, sax and a rhythm section, their approach like some sort of period Cool School approach drastically updated for the 21st century with say dirty keys on …

Published: 1 Nov 2023. Updated: 5 months.

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An often introspective and sensitive sound Bliss Quintet from Norway blend quarter tone trumpet, sax and a rhythm section, their approach like some sort of period Cool School approach drastically updated for the 21st century with say dirty keys on 'Ida' and smatterings of burning energy along the way fed in. Around since debuting last year tunes here are band written and work well as a whole together - Oscar Andreas Haugs is on trumpet, Zakarias Meyer Øverlis on tenor sax - best heard on standout track 'Ida' - Benjamín Gísli Einarsson on piano and keys impresses most in his introduction to the poignant 'Adjøsang,' Gard Kronborgs is on acoustic bass guitar and Rino Sivathas is on drums. Worth discovering.