Recommended: Lisbeth Quartett – “Lisbeth Live”


Lisbeth Quartett - "Lisbeth Live"Sometimes you just need to hear a band perform live to get a better sense of what they’re all about.  Lisbeth Quartett has put out a couple of nice studio albums, which I’ve mentioned previously either on this site and/or my eMusic Wondering Sound columns… but nothing about those albums really blew me away.  They were both interesting enough to garner a mention, and one of the quartet’s members is saxophonist Charlotte Greve, who is one of those musicians who keeps popping up on interesting projects, so there was that, too.  But there was something about those studio recordings that left me feeling like maybe the band was holding something back, or conversely, what was intended never actually materialized in its fullest form.

Culled from a handful of different concerts, Lisbeth Live doesn’t hold back and there’s no shortage of creative inspirations seeing the light of day.  Consisting of seven tracks, most over ten minutes in length each, the quartet tucks a melodic inspiration under their arm and just go wandering.  Often, they end up in some seriously beautiful places.  Sometimes paths taken don’t lead to anywhere in particular, and that’s okay, since the journey can be just as fruitful as the landing spot.  But this album’s biggest attraction is the opportunity to hear the musicians flesh out their ideas, with the question of what-comes-next just as compelling as any one expression at a particular moment in time.  This is not a perfect album by any means, but this is the kind of recording that shouldn’t get measured by its individual parts… it needs to be taken in as a whole.  It’s the kind of recording that slowly accumulates a strong appreciation, where you’re less likely to hang onto the edge of each and every moment and more likely to suddenly snap to and think, hey, I’ve really been enjoying this album.

Favorite track: “Secret Ingredient” – Its mix of thick contemplation and a strong beating heart pumping blood like mad is just outstanding.

Bonus upside to this live album:  It provides an additional context for their studio albums and a motivation to revisit each of them.

Definitely check this one out.

Your album personnel: Charlotte Greve (sax), Manuel Schmiedel (piano), Marc Muellbauer (bass) and Moritz Baumgärtner (drums).

Released on Traumton Records.

Jazz from the Brooklyn scene.

Available at:  eMusic | Amazon