Daniel Herskedal and Marius Neset - Neck of the Woods
(Edition Records EDN 1034. CD Review by Chris Parker)
Although saxophonist Marius Neset will be familiar to many jazz listeners courtesy of his widely acclaimed recording Golden Xplosion, this recording, a duo project with tubaist/composer Daniel Herskedal, finds him in relatively restrained mode, largely eschewing the incandescent playing (correctly) suggested by his debut’s title.
Most of the pieces, which range from the lively title-track’s attractive mix of stirring skirling saxophone and unexpectedly buoyant tuba to the subtle, more contemplative intertwining of ‘The Shepherd’ or the appropriately jaunty ‘Ara’s Dance’, are overtly jazz-based, often spearheaded by Neset’s swirling, agile saxophones, but the standout track is perhaps Eg er Framand, on which soloist Hallvar Djupvik is featured performing lyrics in a beguiling traditional folk–jazz mélange. Other voices - the Svanholm Singers' - are also used, mainly as a somewhat anaemic vocal wash behind the duo’s instruments.
Concluding with a skilfully judged visit to Abdullah Ibrahim’s classic The Wedding (the hushed, reverent tone of which suits the pair’s approach perfectly), this is an unusual but consistently absorbing and intriguing album from two highly accomplished instrumentalist/composers, and provides yet more evidence of the resourcefulness and imagination of Edition Records.