The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - John McBeath

The Be­he­moth Phrone­sis Edi­tion Fol­low­ing six ac­claimed al­bums, the Euro­pean pi­ano trio Phrone­sis has com­bined with the 14piece Frank­furt Ra­dio Big Band to record 10 orig­i­nals com­mis­sioned for its 10th an­niver­sary. Al­though good use is made of the big band, pro­vid­ing colour and rich­ness, there are enough trio pas­sages to sat­isfy fans of the orig­i­nal Phrone­sis: pian­ist Ivo Neame, bassist Jasper Hoiby and An­ton Eger on drums. Ju­lian Ar­guelles ar­ranged and con­ducted th­ese tracks and pro­vides an up-tempo, driv­ing tenor sax solo in Ur­ban Con­trol, a piece by Eger. In­tro to Ur­ban Con­trol be­gins with solo pi­ano and adds trum­pet, bass and drums in a rhyth­mic up­take. An­other Eger com­po­si­tion, Herne Hill, be­gins with ab­stract pi­ano phrases, soon joined by the ensem­ble to con­tinue with strong rhyth­mic propul­sion. Martin Scales con­trib­utes sev­eral swing­ing gui­tar so­los, no­tably in Hoiby’s com­po­si­tion Happy Notes, while the in­fre­quently heard bass trum­pet plays elo­quently in Charm De­fen­sive. Pian­ist Neame is con­tin­u­ously ac­tive in the ensem­ble — to­gether with bassist Hoiby and Eger on drums — and de­liv­ers sev­eral smart so­los, no­tably in OK Cho­rale and Phra­ter­nal, where Tony Latkos adds a con­struc­tive tenor pas­sage. There is ex­ten­sive pi­ano work in Hoiby’s Un­ti­tled #1, plus an elon­gated gui­tar se­quence, trav­el­ling quickly, from Scales. Across its six al­bums Phrone­sis has de­vel­oped a bold and in­stantly recog­nis­able sound, per­form­ing widely across Europe and in many festivals from Morocco to Brazil and from Aus­tralia to North Amer­ica. This new al­bum, with its ex­panded world of sound, pro­vides a new light on the trio’s time­less mu­sic, show­cas­ing the ex­tra­or­di­nary abil­ity of three su­perla­tive mu­si­cians.

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