The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - MUSIC REVIEWS -

JAKOB BRO Streams ★★★★ ECM Gui­tarist Jakob Bro’s glow­ing, de­lay-drenched gui­tar sound is clearly de­scended from that of the great Bill Frisell, but the 38-year-old Dane is grad­u­ally mark­ing out some ter­ri­tory of his own – slow-mov­ing, folk-like orig­i­nals, poised at the edge of ab­strac­tion, and yet some­how fa­mil­iar, snag­ging the mem­ory like melodies you’ve heard a mil­lion times. His sec­ond record­ing for Man­fred Eicher’s ECM la­bel is another trio record­ing, again with the hugely im­pres­sive Thomas Mor­gan on bass and, this time, Joey Baron re­plac­ing Jon Chris­tensen on drums. It’s an in­spired sub­sti­tu­tion, with Baron’s rare com­bi­na­tion of in­ven­tion and re­straint – rem­i­nis­cent of Paul Mo­tian, to whom the al­bum’s third track is ded­i­cated – pro­vid­ing the per­fect un­der­pin­ning to Bro’s plan­gent, echo­ing lines. Mourn­ful, beau­ti­ful, dark yet lu­mi­nous mu­sic for Beck­ett fans. prop­er­mu­sic.com CORMAC LARKIN WADADA LEO SMITH Amer­ica’s Na­tional Parks ★★★★ Cuneiform Wadada Leo Smith likes to blur the lines be­tween com­po­si­tion and im­pro­vi­sa­tion, even in­vent­ing his own no­ta­tion sys­tem, to bet­ter com­mu­ni­cate his in­ten­tions. This lat­est work for his Golden Quin­tet – trum­pet, pi­ano, cello, bass and drums – is a starkly orig­i­nal six-part suite about the US Na­tional Parks Ser­vice, founded 100 years ago this year. But any­one ex­pect­ing sweep­ing cin­e­matic scores sum­mon­ing the grandeur of na­ture will be bark­ing up the wrong se­quoia. Smith’s tur­bu­lent com­po­si­tions, which art­fully ex­ploit his group’s un­usual in­stru­men­tal com­bi­na­tion, are more about is­sues of own­er­ship and the fu­ture of the planet, which leaves you ad­mir­ing Smith’s fierce sense of so­cial jus­tice (as well as his darkly ru­mi­na­tive trum­pet-play­ing) and won­der­ing what on earth has hap­pened to all the other protest mu­si­cians? cuneiform­records.com CORMACLARKIN

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