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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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ACT 9032-2



  1. World Song Part 1

  2. World Song Part 2

  3. Pinball

  4. Odes of You

  5. Police

  6. Music for Cello and Saxophone

  7. Theatre of Magic

  8. Aberhonddhu

  9. Jaguar

  10. Music for Drums and Saxophone

  11. Summer Dance

  12. Hymn from the World

Marius Neset - Tenor, soprano saxophones

Ivo Neame - Piano, Hammond B3 organ, CP80, clavinet

Jim Hart - Vibraphone, marimba, drums (track 4)

Petter Eldh - Double bass

Anton Eger - Drums, percussion

Andreas Brantelid - Cello (tracks 1, 2, 6, 7)

Rune Tonsgaard Sørensen - Violin (tracks 1, 11)

Ingrid Neset - Flute (tracks 1, 5, 11)

August Wanngren - Tambourine (track3)

Pinball band - Clapping (tracks 1, 2, 7)

The Norwegian saxophonist Marius Neset, who has just turned 30, is one of the rising stars of the European jazz fraternity. Born into a musical family (his younger sister Ingrid plays the flute on several tracks of this album), Neset attended the Copenhagen Rhythmic Music Conservatory where he was taught by Django Bates, among others. He now lives in that city. This is his fifth solo album and his second for ACT. His band has a couple of British musicians in Ivo Neame and Jim Hart, both also emerging talents, as well as a solid core of his Scandinavian compatriots. Together they have produced a varied and stimulating disc with Neset contributing six of the twelve compositions alone and the other six in collaboration with Anton Eger, the group's drummer and percussionist.

Neset is lyrical sometimes, at others urgent and vigorous – whatever the mood he comes across as an exceptional tenor and soprano sax player. I was put in mind of Jan Garbarek on more than one track (listen, for instance, to the title track Pinball, or Theatre of Magic where there are echoes of Garbarek's Rites album). Odes of You has a wonderfully wistful feel to it with Neset's yearning tenor and Neame's imaginative piano solo supported by Eger's restrained percussion. There is much to enjoy from the other musicians too. Take Jim Hart's rippling playing on Police and his resonant performance on the brief (and intriguing) Aberhonddu or, for that matter, how about the deep notes of the cello in World Song Part 2 and Music for Cello and Saxophone. Summer Dance is played at such a pace that anyone attempting to 'trip the light fantastic' would find it difficult to keep up - frenetic, then, at times but coherent from start to finish. Nor is the music devoid of humour - try Music for Drums and Saxophone and wait for the punch-line!

This album, then, is an admirable example of the high quality of European jazz at the present time.

James Poore

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