Jacob Anderskov “Strings, Percussion & Piano” and Christian McBride “People Music”


Jacob Anderskov – Strings, Percussion & Piano

Jacob Anderskov - "Strings, Percussion & Piano"On his newest release Strings Percussion & Piano, pianist Jacob Anderskov hasn’t developed a new formula for his particular form of quirky expressiveness, but he is shining a creative light through a new, unexpected facet.  Anderskov has been working lately with a quartet that includes Chris Speed, Gerald Cleaver and Michael Formanek, and their 2012 release Granular Alchemy is well worth hunting down.  But on his newest, he goes with a new line-up that consists of strings and percussion, and by doing so, shows a new expanse of possibilities for his particular sound.

Some tracks dive into a more familiar dissonance, like “Impermanence I” and “Diamonds Are For Unreal People III,” but if that’s what you’re looking for, scoop up a different Anderskov recording… this one is about the beautiful harmonies, sometimes with a sunrise warmth, sometimes with a haunting spell of darkness.  The meandering piano stroll through the park of “Waldhorn” is part and parcel with the string trio’s ominous tones of “Soil,” just as it is with the string harmonies of “Hungarian Conditions” that sound more to burrow through the earth than soar across the horizon.

A fascinating album, and adds to Anderskov’s already fascinating collection of recordings.

Your album personnel:  Jacob Anderskov (piano), Christine Pryn (violin), Anette Slaatto (viola), Ida Nørholm (cello), and Peter Bruun (drums).

Released on ILK Music.

Available at:  eMusic | Amazon CD & MP3



Christian McBride – People Music

Christian McBride - "People Music"It’s no easy task to position oneself at Jazz’s center and perform music that sounds like the birth of a new season.  The risk is to receive the response of “heard that before.”  However, with People Music, bassist Christian McBride deftly neutralizes that risk with music that’s vibrant and bursting with energy.

The quintet follows strong melodies into songs like running backs letting their blockers clear a path, and once they break into the open field, that’s when the superstars take over.  The harmonic fireworks of “Listen to the Heroes Cry” offer up some beautiful layering of complementary sounds, whereas a track like “Gang Gang” provides a stream of dynamic solos that seem without end.

Most tracks run at a brisk pace, but even a few of the up-tempo pieces leave space to swing.  The quintet slows things down for the gently swaying “Ms. Angelou,” but for the most part, the pulse bops at a faster clip, with “The Movement Revisited” serving, perhaps, as the upper constraint, and from there, it’s just a matter of degrees as to “how fast.”

Just a great straight-ahead session, the kind of jazz that sounds like Jazz while never sounding redundant or cliched or anything but full of life.

Your album personnel:  Christian McBride (bass), Steve Wilson (alto sax), Warren Wolf (vibes), Peter Martin (piano), Carl Allen (drums), with guests Christian Sands (piano) and Ulysses Owens Jr. (drums) filling in on two album tracks.

Released on Mack Avenue Records.

Available at:  eMusic | Amazon CD & MP3