Less satisfying than anything by Phronesis or from Malija the eco-themed concept album Planet B shapes the great bassist Jasper Høiby's tonal surety of execution around the highly melodic saxophone sound of Josh Arcoleo with a new name to me Marc Michel on drums proving suitably loose and open in his style.
The first of four planned albums aiming to address worthy, significant, themes of ''Humanity, Climate Change, Artificial Intelligence and Monetary Reform'' Planet B includes spoken word wisdom delivered by luminaries such as Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics.
A studio album recorded in Copenhagen the results are not a million miles away from Phronesis while the musical chairs have been moved around and only Høiby from that trio is present. I miss the pianism and Arcoleo's naturalistic approach does not fill the gap and moves the music to another space entirely although Michel is not such a different drummer to Anton Eger.
Big melodies and there are plenty on the album rattle around more freely without pianistic support and the interjections of the speakers are not that inspiring in context surely missing the point of their inclusion. Most of the tunes were written by Jasper and as usual are eminently listenable to. Plenty of improvisation and adventurous playing is also provided. But the big but: the chemical spark of switched-on trioplay is largely absent. Work in progress? Yes! I'll be interested to see how this early-days project develops and beds in properly after what is only an OK start. SG
Out now on Edition