Danish cornetist (who doubles on flugelhorn) Mads la Cour maintains a fluid conception of his band Almugi. Almugi has been large, as in his eight piece Almugi Large Ensemble (WhyPlayJazz, 2015) and small as in Duo (WhyPlayJazz, 2015) with drummer Anders Mogensen. With Hule, he settles on a quartet line-up featuring saxophonist/clarinetist Lars Greve (August Rosenbaum, Sven Ake Johansson), bassist Mariusz Praśniewski, and drummer Kasper Tom Christiansen (Quartz, Fusk).
His compositions and performance may remind you of American trumpeter Dave Douglas. That is, if Douglas had a certain Scandinavian stoicism. The music here is built on a patient forbearance, a hallmark of European jazz, but also there is a purposeful reconnoitering of the edges of the avant-garde. La Cour has constructed an elegant tone with his horn and he is not opposed to pushing boundaries and technique. On "Støjland Møgland," his luxurious opening notes meander down a path before joining Greve's saxophone to mix-and-match and fall in-and-out of synchronization. The rhythm section is in on the game also, changing the pulse and pace. La Cour's approach is part light-hearted and blithe, but also one with tightly crafted changes. "Bølgebop, Bølgebop" is a start/stop post-bop teaser which first wrings Greve's tormented bass clarinet , before an all-stop cornet thrust. The music is playful, buoyant, and knotty. Maybe we should say naughty.
Make a note to keep an eye (ear) on Mads la Cour's blossoming career.
Track Listing: Immer Schön #1; Terminus; Støjland Møgland; Hule; Immer Schön; Gammelton; Impro; Bølgebop, Bølgebop; Immer Schön
Personnel: Mads la Cour: cornet, flugelhorn; Lars Greve: clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor saxophone; Kasper Tom Christiansen: drums;
Mariusz Praśniewski: double bass.
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