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Ape Club: Ape Club (2013)

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Ape Club: Ape Club How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Ape Club is a new Norwegian quartet that has been operating since 2009 and plays jazz at the crossroads of be-bop and early free jazz of the late fifties and early sixties. Its debut album blends inspirations of such great composers as Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
Thelonious Monk
1917 - 1982
piano
, Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
and Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
Charles Mingus
1922 - 1979
bass, acoustic
, spiced with modern pop song structures, folksy melodies and modern manners of improvisations.

The quartet leader, bassist Julius Lind, wrapped the band tunes within catchy, melodic and energetic envelopes that emphasizes the strong personalities of his colleagues, their perceptive knowledge of jazz legacy and joyful spirit. Other members of the quartet are experienced musicians from the fertile Norwegian jazz scene. Trombonist Øyvind Brække is known for his collaboration with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra
b.2000
band/orchestra
, who performed his remarkable Migrations (MNJ, 2011), and with The Source. Drummer Erik Nylander leads his own Orkester, member of the groups Kobert, who also collaborated with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (MNJ, 2009), and Magic Pocket and frequent collaborator with violinist Ola Kvernberg
Ola Kvernberg
Ola Kvernberg
b.1981
violin
. Saxophonist Kasper Værnes leads his own quartet and quintet.

Lind and Nylander form a massive, propulsive rhythm section that keeps pushing the powerful melodic articulations of Værnes and Brække. This tight combination offers varied approaches— from the sophisticated chord progression and unison parts à la John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
's "Giant Steps" in "Death of Bass," the adoption of Coleman harmolodics system on "Calvados," "Underground" and "Circus," including a concious tribute to John Zorn
John Zorn
John Zorn
b.1953
sax, alto
's klezmer-tinged Masada quartet that also followed Coleman legacy, the Mingus-like "The Stranger" with its sudden shifts of rhythms and themes and the Monk-ish ballad "Monkey Business."

The music of Ape Club is rooted in one of the glorious eras of jazz, but it has a modern, open and personal sound signature. The members of this quartet do not attempt to follow in the footprints of jazz formative composers to suggest their independent and perceptive perspectives of jazz as a vivid and vital art.


Track Listing: Black Smoke; Death of a Bass; Calvados; Woods; The Stranger; Underground; Monkey Business; Circus.

Personnel: Kasper Værnes: saxophone; Øyvind Brække: trombone; Julius Lind: double bass; Erik Nylander: drums.

Record Label: Recorda Records


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