Clean Feed Records (2016, Denmark) – Avant Jazz, Free Bop
A majestic and ethereal album, just like its cover. Perhaps as troubling, sailing between the dramatic and bewitching, between serious and trivial – as this music perfectly oscillating between improvisations and compositions.
Everything is perfectly mastered. Julie Kjær is of course already recognized for her talent. As Steve Noble (drums) and John Edwards (bass), both remarkable for the strength and inventiveness of their game. But together, this trio (Julie Kjær 3) creates something clearly exceptional.
From the first seconds of listening, you feel as you enter something that you cannot escape. It’s cosy (basic traditional sounds are reassuring) but immediately intriguing. The melodies and rhythms are playing each other and move as much as they hypnotize. The path lights as it can be done with a lantern in hand. But each measure that illuminates a new space, unfortunately, let submerge others.
The album cover is understandable with its title “Dobbeltgænger”. A doppelganger is a man who looks just like another. This can evoke an evil twin or simply a resemblance in appearance or behaviour.
The tracks that gave the album its name – and ends it – expresses precisely this double, but not really a mimetic one, more like an imitation. Maybe a hidden part of oneself, or a possible self, living in a parallel world. Invisible but feel by everyone.
The strength of the album comes from this fragile beauty but lightning and from the autistic poetry spat by free jazz.
1. Out of Sight (12:02)
2. Face (4:19)
3. Alto Madness (5:39)
4. Pleasantly Troubled (8:58)
5. Dear Mr. Bee (6:16)
6. Dobbeltgænger (6:16)
Julie Kjær: alto saxophone | John Edwards: double bass | Steve Noble: drums