Thursday, May 7, 2020

Fiil Free – Under Overfladen (2020)

Fiil Free

Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet
Henrik Pultz Melbye - saxophone, clarinet
Lars Fiil - piano
Henrik Olsson - guitar
Martin Fabricius - vibraphone
Casper Nyvang Rask - bass
Bjørn Heebøll - drums



Under Overfladen

FIIL FREE 0320

By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by the international septet Fiil Free led by Danish pianist/composer Lars Fiil and including Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski, Danish saxophonist Henrik Pultz Melbye, Swedish guitarist Henrik Olsson and three additional Danish musicians: vibraphonist Martin Fabricius, bassist Casper Nyvang Rask and drummer Bjorn Heeboll. The album presents six original compositions, all by Fiil.

Musically the album follows the pattern set up by the debut, offering well structured compositions, which are performed with an open attitude of group improvisation, collectively achieving a well organized Free Form, what might be considered as an oxymoron, but works splendidly in practice. The music tenders a typical Scandinavian melancholy and spacey atmosphere, but is full of interesting concepts and the compositions present together a diverse palette of ideas and moods. The sound moves smoothly between intimate and quiet passages and powerful, almost orchestral statements.

Obviously this kind of music is heavily dependent on the individual abilities of the participating musicians, and Fiil is lucky to have collected a wonderful group of highly skilled instrumentalists, who are able to offer both splendid individual statements and impressive collective improvisations of the highest level.

In many respects this album offers a model for contemporary European Free Jazz, which concentrates on the attempt to combine individual freedom of expression with collective performance, a balance that is quite difficult to achieve in any Artistic endeavor. Fiil and his cohorts manage to get the best out of this specific idiom. And deserve particular credit, especially in view of the fact that they not only managed to repeat the formula but even improved it.

Overall this is a brilliant sophomore effort, which proves that the debut was not just a "lucky strike" and offers a clear conceptual approach, which is promising and will be hopefully explored further. For European Free Jazz connoisseurs this is an absolute must!

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