Tread Lightly

Tread Lightly

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It is not uncommon in improvisational music to see the melody primarily as a point of departure for musicians' solos. But obviously, melodies have a power of their own. Playing a melody, letting it shine it it's own right, takes skills. These skills are featured on this album. The quartet, Elisabeth Lid Trøen (saxophone and flute), Dag Arnesen (piano), Ole Marius Sandberg (bass), and Sigurd Steinkopf (drums), consistently demonstrates a number of melodic strategies to highly different results. The compositions establish melodic material, often lyrical, but even more important is how the musicians seamlessly moves from melodies to improvisation and back again, insisting on the melodies to carry the output. On "Flirt" there is an echo of folk music, together with an ostinato. It is not folkloristic, but use a lyricism also found in folk music, giving the musicians a sense of direction. Something similar is heard on "Partysvensken," but in addition the latter works with layers of instruments. The piano drops out during parts of the saxophone solo, then gradually reenters with tiny figures and counter-lines; the bass and drums disappear, and the piano figures become more embellished, highlighting how the quartet co-create the collective sound rather than focusing on individual musicians. "Just Thinking" is, in a sense, a daring composition. The melodic material could, in less accomplished musicians' hands, have been banal, but given the strong explorations of melody the song still works. "Sarah's Bounce" begins march-like, and the drums drive much of the dynamic dimensions of the composition. In addition to dynamics, Steinkopf demonstrates that drummers also can have a melodic approach. "Denne" sounds almost nocturnal, as a reflection upon a long day. Melodic development and chords belong together, but at the same time establish contrasting dimensions. Throughout the album, then, we as listeners is given a master-class in melodic thinking

Product Description:

  • Catalog Number: MOB832550

  • UPC: 7090025832550

  • Label: Losen Records