Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Chris Dundas Oslo Odyssey BLM 2014

 
Chris Dundas goes global with an all star line up and staggering results!
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Chris Dundas released his critically acclaimed debut roughly fourteen years ago. Since then, Dundas took the time to ensure there would be no let down in creativity. Combined with the arduous task of saving the money necessary for a quality recording and the well documented trials and tribulations of the music industry, a funny thing happened on the way to the studio. A somewhat conceptualized release, Dundas draws on the inspiration from Keith Jarrett's Scandinavian Quartet from thirty five years ago. To complete his harmonic journey he recruited Oslo's premier bassist Arild Andersen and his drummer Patrice Heral while rounding out this most formidable 4tet with tenor saxophonist Bendik Hofseth.
 
There is an organic warmth that permeates this stellar recording as the disc is presented in the order in which the compositions were recorded and with an open ended spatial exploration of improvisational conversations. Walking the harmonic tightrope in this setting can be fraught with peril yet Dundas makes the journey seem effortless. The contemplative mood of "Great Pacific Garbage Patch Waltz" bookends well with Denny Zeitlin's "Quiet Now" which embraces that three dimensional spatial quality, a zen like approach where no notes are wasted. The dynamics evolve within themselves as both tempo and corresponding mood shift on the fly. "Pilgrimage" is a full contact blowing piece yet utilizes the harmonic space left free by each contributor.
 
The presentation is varied in meter and execution yet the musical co-conspirators are able to get in and get out without getting in each others way. The chemistry here while certainly left of center is lyrically undeniable. To compare the sound to performers from another label can be difficult but for those familiar with the history of ECM, think of this as ECM all grown up.
 
Tracks; Great Pacific Garbage Patch Waltz; Quiet Now; You're Gonna Tempt Me; Friends Forever; Lemming Ade; Lontano; Fukushima Rain; Pilgrimage; Waiting For The 4:20 From Godot; If I Should Come Home; Full Circle.
 
Personnel: Chris Dundas: Piano; Bendik Hofseth: Tenor Saxophone; Arild Andersen: Double Bass, Live Electronics; Patrice Heral: Drums, Live Percussion.
 
Special Thanks To Michael Bloom of Michael Bloom Media Relations.