Saturday, June 27, 2020

Misceo - Better Word For Love (2020)

Misceo

Artturi Rönkä - piano
Adrian Christensen - double bass
Frederik Bülow - drums
Joanna Cieślak - cello
Kern Westerberg - violin

Better Word For Love

AMP 069


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by international ensemble Misceo, which combines a classic Jazz piano trio and a Classical string duo: Finnish pianist Artturi Rönkä, Danish bassist Adrian Christensen, Danish drummer Frederik Bülow, Danish violinist Kern Westerberg and Polish cellist Joanna Cieślak. The album presents seven original compositions, four composed by Bülow and three by Christensen.

The music is wonderfully innovative and contemporary, bridging the Jazz and Classical idioms into a new, integral entity, which balances between the two universes and manages to create a perfect hybrid. Anybody expecting another "Jazz & Strings" album could not be further that what the listener will experience on this album. Misceo, which was founded by Bülow and Cieślak, manages to fulfill the initial intend of bringing together different elements on the same level of substance, which is definitely not an easy task.

There is a stylistic difference between the compositions by Bülow, which are mostly based on strong polyrhythmic and odd meters, which are emphasized by his dynamic drum parts, whereas those by Christensen tend to be more lyrical and tranquil, which creates a certain balance as far as the entire album is concerned. The performances are, as expected, all stellar and these talented and experienced musicians contribute wholeheartedly to create a magical expedition into contemporary music, which is both aesthetically fulfilling and intellectually challenging.

The music was excellently recorded, which is very important to present the intricate details of this music and capture the unique ambience. Kudos to the ambitious Norwegian AMP label, which in the last few years established its position on the vanguard European (mostly Scandinavian) recorded music. Overall this is an important, innovative album, which truly deserves the attention of European music connoisseurs, who are able to "think outside the box" in search of new and uncharted musical experiences. Warmly recommended!

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