While music is listened to as a singular whole, oftentimes, it’s the music within the music that can provide the real highlights. Quality interplay between an ensemble’s musicians is an aspect of Jazz that sets it apart from other music… those conversations artists have with the instruments of one another that occur within the framework of a recording or performance.
On the quartet date that resulted in Land, the organic growth of two dedicated sets of interplay elevate this album up to a plateau that earns it some time in the spotlight.
One could listen only to the interactions between Hammar trombone and Jensen’s trumpet, and walk away with that unique fulfillment a solid jazz album can gift. Sometimes it is a modified call-and-response pattern, as on the album opener “Episode 1 to 5,” other times their combined effort creates a twisted strand of bound notes, as on fourth track “Koral,” and then there are the frequent times they take flight, side by side, and slip in and out of one another’s flight patterns.
But there is another conversation going on. Bassist Jennings and the percussion of Goraguer have a strong bond as the foundation, and the rhythms that result from that bond are just as compelling as the melodic excursions of Jensen and Hammar.
On second track “Fugitive,” Jennings and Goraguer begin with a susurrant groove that builds slowly into a calamitous racket, prodded by Jensen and Hammar, but when it reaches its peak and trumpet and trombone yank the tablecloth out from beneath the dishes, what remains is that same susurrant groove, just coasting along, a reminder that this is the ground where the song’s feet are planted. Some tracks, like “On My Line,” have a Rock pulse that burrows beneath the tune, and draws the attention of the ear groundward even as trumpet and trombone soar overhead.
And that’s where it all ties in. Though the quartet session can be viewed as two separate and distinct conversations, it’s the contrast between the aeronautics of the trombone-trumpet pairing and the earthbound tempos of bass and drum that provide the added texture of interplay that makes this such a delightful album. Listening as the two pairs have their conversation as part of the singular whole of the quartet interplay keeps the ear busy on where to maintain its focus, while never becoming a convoluted mess of scattered discussions.
The music is clear as one voice speaking. This quartet’s talent is in providing additional facets of interplay that provide depth and enjoyment if the ear choose to seek them out.
Released on the Skip Records label.
Jazz from multiple scenes. Hammar is from Stockholm, Jennings is a Canadian living in Paris, Jensen is a New York musician, and Goraguer is from France.
NOTE: Sorry, couldn’t find any audio to embed or that it’s streamed anywhere.