Twists and turns

The Lon­don-based Phrone­sis bring en­ergy and in­ven­tive­ness to the jazz pi­ano trio

BBC Music Magazine - - Jazz -

Phrone­sis We Are All

Ivo Neame (pi­ano), Jasper Høiby (dou­ble bass), An­ton Eger (drums)

Edi­tion EDN 1118Y

Is there some ar­cane se­cret to the phe­nom­e­non that is Phrone­sis? Af­ter all, it’s a pi­ano trio play­ing orig­i­nals, which is hardly a rad­i­cal con­cept; in­deed, it’s of­ten the run­about ve­hi­cle of choice for jazz com­posers, suc­cess­ful or as­pir­ing, as demon­strated by the piles of calling-card CDS clog­ging the in-trays of pro­mot­ers and jour­nal­ists. This, how­ever, may be where the ex­pla­na­tion lies: Phrone­sis is ex­actly this, only bet­ter. Any piece by one of the group’s mem­bers (each con­trib­utes two of six tracks on this, the band’s eighth al­bum) will con­tain more ideas than many artists can muster for an en­tire project, es­chew­ing pad­ding and rep­e­ti­tion in favour of com­plex, en­er­getic ex­plo­rations that man­age to be both way­ward and ut­terly log­i­cal with­out laps­ing into ei­ther an­ar­chy or steril­ity. The mu­si­cians’ ex­cep­tional technical skills are com­pletely in­te­grated into the fas­ci­nat­ing twists and turns of the mu­sic, which echoes ev­ery­thing from Liszt to early Soft Ma­chine via be­bop while still be­ing unique in its con­vic­tion and sheer depth of con­tent. The warmth of the recorded sound rounds off an ab­so­lute and un­re­served rec­om­men­da­tion. ★★★★★

Way­ward yet log­i­cal: Liszt and early Soft Ma­chine in­form their mu­sic

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