26. januar 2024

Scheen Jazzorkester, Cortex, Thomas Johansson

Om utgivelsen

High-flying Norwegian trumpeter and composer Thomas Johansson, much-lauded for his spellbinding work with, among others, Friends & Neighbors and Gard Nilssen’s Supersonic Orchestra, brings together two of his other formidable ensembles – premier third-stream troupe Scheen Jazzorkester and avant-garde party-starters, Cortex – for a scintillating showcase of big-band bravura.
Recorded live in the winter of 2022 at Norway’s old Hamar Teater hall, the five dynamic cuts on Frameworks have their origins in a commission from the Jazzorkester, keen to follow-up on the successes of their previous Johansson-helmed long-player, As We See It (Clean Feed, 2019).
This time around Johansson pitched an additional curveball into the mix, swelling the assembled ranks with his ebullient Cortex quartet, featuring Kristoffer Alberts (baritone and tenor saxophone), Ola Høyer (double bass) and Dag Erik Knedal Andersen (drums).
With a succession of forward-thinking full-lengths, including Live In New York (Clean Feed, 2016) and Legal Tender (Clean Feed, 2020), Cortex have garnered a warranted reputation for deeply engaging, but defiantly entertaining, jazz forms, drawing on the innovations of everyone from Charles Mingus and Ornette Coleman to Dave Douglas, while speaking in dazzling dialects all their own.
Here the quartet act like a whirring free-improv dynamo operating at the heart of the orchestral body, emboldening and further energising the collective sound with extra horns and additional rhythm section.
Under Johansson’s deft stewardship, the two ensembles probe the limits of extemporisation within the confines of his masterful compositions, locking together on a series of enchanting lyrical refrains during the sumptuously languid ‘Weaving’, elsewhere embarking on the broiling back-and-forth dialogues of ‘Hoo-Hah’ and the album’s title-track. Throughout, Johansson preserves the unique essence of both groups, directing his formidable agents with intrepid ingenuity, emancipating, ennobling them to soar and explore during Frameworks’ protean, progressive, and decidedly potent, exhibitions of liberated synergy.

All music by Thomas Johansson (TONO)

Recorded live at Hamar Teater by Åsgeir Grong | Mixed by Ingar Hunskaar | Mastered by Fridtjof A. Lindeman at Svenska Grammofonstudion, Göteborg
Produced by Thomas Johansson | Excecutive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos


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