Close To Nature “Close” & Kevin Finseth “The Wounded Quartet”

There were a couple EPs that dropped this week, and I wanted to get in a quick mention of both.  They’re both sublime recordings, peaceful and languorous… for those early Sunday mornings when a stillness descends upon the earth and one perfect note can fill the room with an exalted serenity.

They also involve musicians who ranked in the top ten of my Best of 2012 list.

Let’s begin…



Close To Nature – Close

Close to Earth - "Close"The Close To Nature duo is a trombone-guitar duo.  The trombonist, Davidsson, illustrates his instrument ability to evince a lullaby presence without sacrificing its pronounced delivery.  Guitarist Fock is the sonic equivalent of the mesmerizing sensation of watching ducks bob along the surface of a gently rolling lake.

Close is just three songs, clocking in at just under 16 minutes, but it comes off as being the perfect amount of play length for the perfect type of expression.  So good.

Your album personnel:  Gustav Davidsson (trombone) and Jonatan Fock (guitar).

Released on the Record Union label.

Jazz from the Gothenburg, Sweden scene.

Available at:  eMusic MP3 | Amazon MP3 (Word of warning on retail: the group is listed as “The Close” as the artist name on most sites, not their actual name of “Close To Nature”… something to keep in mind when searching for them)

blommorinomhus_stBy the by, trombonist Davidsson is a member of Blommor Inomhus, whose self-titled debut got slotted at number ten on my Best of 2012 list.  He was part of a trio of trombone, vocals, and piano, with accompanying orchestration on some tracks.  Just a thrilling album.  You can read my review of that album HERE.




Kevin Finseth – The Wounded Quartet

Kevin Finseth - "The Wounded Quartet"A duo performance by pianist Kevin Finseth and cellist Peggy Lee.  Finseth seems to take an approach that every song is just another scene in a movie soundtrack.  On her own projects, Lee’s music transitions seamlessly between avant-garde dissonance and abounding warmth.  On this recording, she finds a middle ground… her sound sometimes quavers with a simmering ferocity, sometimes flares with the bright warmth of a sunbeam breaking through darkened clouds.

Just four songs, and a total album playtime of under 13 minutes, but a wonderful glimpse of the possible beauty that can arise from a one-take improvisation between instruments.  This album is an edgier version of the ECM Records duo collaborations of pianist Ketil Bjornstad and cellist Dave Darling.

Your album personnel:  Kevin Finseth (piano, bass balalaika) and Peggy Lee (cello).

Released on Finseth’s High Life Records label.

Jazz from the Vancouver, Canada scene.

Available at:  eMusic MP3 | Amazon CD | Amazon MP3

Currently not available to purchase on Finseth’s Bandcamp page, but check in later, because he does seem to maintain a presence there.

Peggy Lee Band - "Invitation"Also, it’s worth noting that cellist Peggy Lee put out an excellent album of her own in 2012.  The Peggy Lee Band‘s  Invitation was slotted at number seven on my Best of 2012 list.  You can read my review of her album HERE.