Esben Brandt Kvartet Feat. Fredrik Ljungkvist
Silence and Sound
Gateway Music ***

This is Danish guitarist Esben Brandt’s debut album, an album that features a guest appearance by Swedish saxophonist/clarinettist Fredrik Ljungkvist. A highly educated guitarist, who completed a masters at the Royal Academy of Music in his native land, and who has also studied in Stockholm, Helsinki, Copenhagen’s Rhythmic Conservatory, and Newpark Music Centre in Dublin, Brandt has delivered an album of seven of his own compositions where he’s joined besides Ljungkvist by saxophonist Cesar Joaniquet, drummer Christian Windfeld, and bassist Peedu Kass. New Melodic to an extent with an overriding Cool School sensibility that suffers a bit from a boomy mix Brandt compares a little to his fellow countryman Jakob Bro’s approach, the ex-Stańko guitarist who has been signed by ECM. Like Bro's it’s a classy approach, and while the album takes a while to come to the boil ‘Calm’ is a knottily-effective mature sounding highlight that well represents this somewhat dreamy album as a whole. There’s no looking back in anger here. SG
Out now