It would seem a trend at the moment for horn players to produce trio albums without a chordal instrument (piano or guitar etc) and Magnus Thuelund’s new trio release “First Song” attests to this.
Thuelund, a former resident of New York and now living in his native Copenhagen is one of those young innovative jazz musicians making waves in Northern Europe. In the accompanying 1-sheet, that arrived with the album, it’s stated that “The trio’s musical universe is refined and creative with a constant high level of interplay” and on first listen I could not agree more.
The first thing I noticed when listening to this album is the outstanding sonic quality of the recording. The opening track “Karl Special” introduces the trio and set’s the tone for whats to come. This track is dedicated to to Thuelund’s son and it’s appropriate child like melody is played beautifully leading seamlessly into to improvisation. Thuelund’s tone is spectacular and his solo weaves seamlessly through the counter rhythms created by Earle and Johansen before returning to the theme.
Other tracks of note are “M”, in effect a mini suite and “Hightech II” featuring a well formed bass solo where bassist Graig Earle can be heard getting in touch with his inner La Faro.
Throughout this album the one thing that stands out is the interplay between these musicians where functionality is surpassed by counter melody. I would almost dare to say that the last trio to achieve this in such a convincing manner was the classic Bill Evans trio with Scott La Faro and Paul Motion.
While this album may not appeal to all, personally I just can’t leave it alone.
Line-up: Magus Thueland, alto sax | Graig Earle, double bass | Jonas Johansen, drums
Track listing: Karl Special | Search | M | 55 | Low | Hightech II | First Song | C4
Label: Gateway Music (MT001)