Sunday, April 14, 2013

David's Angels What It Seems Kopa 2013 is a relatively new record label focusing on jazz and other improvised music coming out of Sweden and the surrounding area. While some may argue that the label is somewhat of a spin off of ECM, there is a huge difference in the ambient flavor of the music involved.

To begin we have Sofie Norling on vocals, Maggi Olin on rhodes, piano, and double piano, David Carlson on bass and additional drum work, Michala Ostergaard-Nielsen on drums and percussion and a guitarist starting to make a name for himself in the United States, that being Torben Waldorff. The end result of the sound is a rich color palette, eclectic yet deceptively subtle in approach. There is a spatial grandeur that fills the gaps the music does not. Organic and brilliant are words tossed around so much that they have lost all meaning. Norling's pristine vocals and the subtleties of the drum work of Michala Ostergaard-Nielsen fill an elusive musical void that few voice can carry off with such abstract yet accessible feeling on "What It Seems." The tune "Differences" (Too fast, meaning, learning) is another intimate piece, morose but dancing on the edge of melancholy. "Go" begins with an aCapella opening that virtually no singer could pull off today with equal vocal dexterity.

David's Angels is a sonic enigma. Transcending genre while embracing the more organic state of mind there is little doubt this is a most impressive effort to come out of Sweden since anything off the ECM label.

Tracks: What It Seems; Rid Of You; Differences; When It Starts; Magica; Go; Risking Hearts; Sailors; Visions; Differences.

4.5 Starts which is as close to perfect as you can get. Stellar performances by all ensemble members from start to finish.