Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Kasper Tom 5 - I Do Admire Things That Are Only What They Are (2015)

Kasper Tom 5

Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet
Rudi Mahall - clarinet, bass clarinet
Petter Hangsel - trombone
Jens Mikkel Madsen - double bass
Kasper Tom - drums

I Do Admire Things That Are Only What They Are


By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by the exceptional European Jazz quintet Kasper Tom 5 led by Danish drummer/composer Kasper Tom Christiansen, which also includes German clarinetist Rudi Mahall, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski, Swedish trombonist Petter Hangsel and Danish bassist Jens Mikkel Madsen. The album was recorded live and presents seven original compositions, all by Christiansen.

In the last decade or so Kasper Tom Christiansen emerges as one of the most talented and thankfully prolific modern European Jazz musicians and his many projects and recordings amount to a most impressive legacy already at this early stage of his career. The ensembles in which he takes part are all wonderful examples of the borderless artistic Europe, which seems to flourish infinitely better that the politically torn apart Europe.

This quintet presents the perfect balance between composed and improvised music, keeping the form and structure of "conventional" composed music, but stretching way beyond the basic layout and explodes with imagination and musical freedom. Christiansen collected in this quintet an exceptional group of highly talented musicians, and their collective abilities, emotions and of course technical skills as players and improvises add up to a total that is much bigger than just the sum of the components. The mutual respect and the level of communication, which is especially apparent on this live recording, are simply phenomenal.

It is also important to note Christiansen the composer, in addition to his tasks as bandleader and drummer. His compositions are the solid basis upon all the improvised music is firmly based. His quirky, beautiful and fascinating little melodies are always superbly crafted, both melodically and harmonically. In fact they are perhaps in some respect the most important facet of Christiansen's multitalented persona.

For fans of well organized Free Jazz (no, this is not an oxymoron) and improvised music this album is simply a fulfillment of a perfect dream. Not a dull moment, from start to finish, countless examples of superb individual and collective skills and above all an atmosphere of joy as a result of playing together. As usual in his case, this is one more triumphant achievement for Christiansen and the Kasper Tom 5, which should not be missed!

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