Nov 13 2014
The lovely follow-up by Lars Danielsson to his winning 2012 release Liberetto comes strongly recommended. The aptly titled Liberetto II brings back the same core of musicians, though trumpeter Arve Henriksen has been switched out for Mattias Eick. It doesn’t qualify as a huge change in personnel, though the full sound of Eick’s trumpet is a departure from Henriksen’s hazy atmospherics. That said, both trumpeters are all about building serenity, so don’t expect a huge swing in ambiance from prior recording to newest. This is a perfect synthesis of European folk, modern jazz and chamber music. The two faces of this recording are one of lullaby and one of liveliness. Both, however, present themselves in a cloak of peacefulness and only a hint of aggression.
Opening track “Grace” is one of those lullabies. The melody isn’t stated so much as it’s cooed, and comforting tones create a stillness that goes uninterrupted no matter how many ripples are pushed out by the rhythm section. Showing the album’s other side is “Passacaglia,” a tiny bundle of activity, fleet of foot, and riding the back of a strong melody ever outward.
Several tracks feature Danielsson and Eick in a duo formation. “I Tima” is all about the brooding melody and how to frame it in different lights. “II Blå” features flight patterns that sometimes cross paths and sometimes soar side-by-side. “III Violet” has them each calling out, Danielsson with a quiet certainty, Eick with the hopefulness of the brokenhearted.
“Swedish Song” cranks up the heat and “Africa” is up-beat and sing-songy, but most tunes possess the quiet ease of “View from the Apple Tree,” a tune with a simple, but fragrant melody and a rhythmic approach that pops and sparks with life as the serious construction of a serious serenity gets underway.
Your album personnel: Lars Danielsson (bass, cello, piano), Tigran Hamasyan (piano, Fender Rhodes), John Parricelli (guitar), Magnus Öström (drums, percussion, electronics), and guests: Mathias Eick (trumpet), Dominic Miller (guitar), Cæcilie Norby (voice), Zohar Fresco (percussion, vocals).
Released on ACT Music.
Jazz from Sweden.
Here’s a LINK to my write-up of Danielsson’s previous release, Liberetto. That, too, still comes highly recommended. And if you like one, you’ll like them both.