|Tom Hayes||18-Jul-2006||All You Can Eat|
Simon Jensen is the flautist for the Swedish ensemble Grovjobb. And Grovjobb are one of the finest recent bands to play in the organic psychedelic space rock field, recalling pioneers from their own country like Algarnas Tradgard, Flasket Brinner and Kebnekaise. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Simon’s own band, but from the get go it’s apparent he’s interested in creating a flute jazz fusion album along the lines of early Bjorn J:Son Lindh, Lloyd McNeill and Jeremy Steig. Jazz standard ‘Take Five’ opens the album in fine fashion, certainly one the coolest jazz songs ever composed. ‘That Blues’ continues down the retro 70’s jazz bag, with some fine muted trumpet work. ‘Summertime’ is another standard, done very well, as Jensen turns in some great flute performances. From here, the proceedings get more interesting as they play only their own compositions. ‘Phenomenon’ is almost post rock, but with a groove that yells 1970’s. Plus accordion is used as a lead here, in a way that I’ve never heard the instrument used before. Fantastic. ‘Minimum’ has a blues groove, with organ backdrop and plenty of flute soloing. Again, the accordion is used in a lead role, following from an almost Soft Machine styled break. And there’s some heavily affected cello adding accents. ‘Something With Cheese’ is self-referential , as many artists today are probably too self-conscious. A fine tenor sax melody carries it through to the end, even if it’s a bit #too# fun. ‘Windflower’ starts as a moody, introspective piece with organ drones, scattered drums and flute soloing. Finally a beat settles in, and Jensen takes over with some beautiful melodious playing. ‘Blue Glass (including Brain)’ is the first tune to recall Grovjobb, and is a psyched out heavy flute rock piece, bordering on freakout. This is, as one may guess, my favorite track on the album. ‘Baghdad 2003’ is as exotic as the title, with cello creating a sitar-like sound and electric piano providing the accents. Naturally the song has a Middle Eastern vibe in the flute soloing. It’s also probably the album’s most intense piece in terms of mood. ‘Blueberry Soup’ ends the album on a lighter note with a syncopated organ beat and the usual great melodic soloing by Jensen. Being a flute jazz fan, this album is very easy for me to enjoy. Plenty of variety for those looking for more than standard jazz fare as well. Very much recommended.
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