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Sunday, July 03, 2016

CD Review: Jasper Høiby – Fellow Creatures

Jasper Høiby (double bass), Mark Lockheart (saxophones), Laura Jurd (trumpet & flugelhorn), Will Barry (piano) & Corrie Dick (drums)
(Review by Russell)
Jasper Høiby has been dreaming of forming, and writing for, a larger ensemble. Known for his trio Phronesis with Ivo Neame and Anton Eger, Copenhagen-born Høiby finally presents to the listening public Fellow Creatures. Bassist, composer and arranger Høiby has recruited four familiar faces on the British contemporary jazz scene; reedsman Mark Lockheart, trumpeter Laura Jurd, pianist Will Barry and drummer Corrie Dick. Høiby is keen to explore the option of writing for two melody instruments and in working with an established name (Lockheart) and a rising star (Jurd) this new CD on Edition Records is likely to have wide appeal.

Ten tracks – the titles of which perhaps point to concerns for the state of the planet and a desire for change – running to the best part of one hour, open with Folk Song. Perhaps an ancient Danish melody as inspiration, this and all other tracks are Høiby’s compositions. The eponymous Fellow Creatures builds momentum thanks to the taut but subtle rhythm section work of band leader Høiby, pianist Will Barry and the accomplished Corrie Dick (drums). The horns find a way into the tune, first trumpeter Jurd, a BBC New Generation Artist, then Lockheart.
Little Song for Mankind hears the piano, bass and drums trio develop the theme with Jurd and Lockheart biding their time. Dick’s propulsive drumming invites the horns to make a contribution and in double quick time they are firing on all cylinders. First Tangible, then Collective Spaces present the quintet as a unified whole; Will Barry’s piano playing at the centre of the former, the collective a true collective. Mark Lockheart’s restless tenor is at the heart of Suddenly, Everyone encouraging Høiby to engage fifth gear. Høiby has a fun calypso-like conversation with Lockheart on Before (the penultimate number) and a good deal of laughter can be heard in the recording studio as bandleader Høiby and his Fellow Creatures close the album with Plastic Island.
Russell.

Jasper Høiby’s Fellow Creatures will be released by Edition Records (EDN 1075) on July 15. The album launch will be in Hall One at King’s Place, London on September 10.                             

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