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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Anders Jormin, Ad Lucem

Anders Jormin, composer and contrabassist, has put together a most distinctive album, Ad Lucem (ECM 2232 2786145). Though it's not what I might usually review on this site, a bit of cross-fertilization is healthy, and it certainly is not out of place, either.

The music is a kind of hybrid combining new jazz, ambient music and new music. It features the instrumental trio of Jormin on contrabass, Fredrik Ljungkvist on clarinets and tenor saxophone, and Jon Falt on drums/percussion. Then it adds two vocalists in Mariam Wallentin and Erika Angell. There are pieces that utilize the vocalists in close, archaic harmonies that remind of early music as filtered through new music composers like Arvo Part, other times they sound more in the ECM style of jazz, still other times there is a folkish quality. The trio has a solid improvisational sense; each is a good improviser with a clear role to play in any given piece.

Very compelling and unusual are the combinations of the tight harmonies and ambient quality of the singers, the rich-toned intelligence of Jormin's contrabass, Ljungkvist's tone and improvisational facility and the well played, well defined role of Falt's drums and percussion. All takes place within a compositional framework that increases or diminishes in proportion to the amount of improvisation present in any given piece.

This is music that creates a distinct mood in distinct ways. It is quite listenable yet there is depth and presence throughout. Something different to listen to and, one hopes, like. I think you may well find this one very interesting, whether or not you ordinarily listen to jazz per se.

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