Mar 8 2017
The rainy day ambiance of the self-titled debut from the quartet Vulture Forest imposes a strong presence over the recording. It’s why “Pileregn” can bring some heat as it swings ahead at a brisk pace and “Mormor” can carve out some space for vociferous phrasing, and yet they both remain couched in the abiding peacefulness. There are times on Vulture Forest when the Amsterdam-based quartet seem ready to break into a Nordic jazz tranquility. In fact, opening track “Flere Lysår Væk” gives every indication of it with its initial volley of melodic serenity. But gradually the trio settles into a more general style of European Jazz, where a certain cinematic melodicism is achieved in a rhythmic environment that sits on the periphery of swing and the attitude of cool blues. “Past Your Bedtime” reflects this approach with a quick step, while “Bittersweet” goes about it at the pace of moonlight crossing the floor. The album comes full circle with the title-track finale… up to a point, at least. The tranquility generated in the tune’s first half is abandoned as the quartet grows increasingly volatile before returning, in the end, to a quieter state.
Plenty here to enjoy.
Your album personnel: Kristoffer Vejslev (guitar), James McClure (trumpet), Luka Benčič (double bass) and Love Ekenberg (drums).
Released on Microtone Records.
Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.
Music from Amsterdam.