Monday, May 2, 2011

Niels Lyhne Lokkegaard

Niels Lyhne Lokkegaard (sax)
The Scale Of Grey. The Tone Of Black. (Nelsonian Records)
Christoffer Steen Moller (piano)
Jeppe Kjellberg (guitar)
Jeppe Gram (drums)
Carsten Skov (vibes)
Lise Christensen (vocals)
Lennart Ginman (bass)

A hauntingly beautiful third album, The Scale Of Grey. The Tone Of Black., from Danish saxophonist, Niels Lyhne Lokkegaard will leave many listeners in amazement. Lokkegaard has been a rising star on the Danish scene for a few years now. His playing style is subtle and touching in way many Nordic releases of the last few years have been. For me its reminiscent of the more balladry moments of Dexter Gordon or late period Stan Getz.


But what separates Lokkegaard from the rest is his compositional skills. A layering of lush arrangements combined with the unity and understanding from his bandmates makes The Scale Of Grey. The Tone Of Black. lovely and satisfying experience for any jazz fan.

"The Opening" features a rich atmospheric tone led brilliantly by Kjellberg on guitar and then joined by Steen Moller and Lokkegaard. It's melodic and calming and lays the groundwork for journey into the rest of this session. "The Restraint" delivers another chilling message with Skov and Christensen providing some ethereal treatments just audible enough to twist your subconscious in and out of shape. Lokkegaard has established a beautiful minimalism through the performances of his ensemble that is both in tune with jazz and ambient aesthetics.

"The Unresolved" with its rolling melody from Moller on piano and Lokkegaard's crisp phrasing feels like more accessible Philip Glass piece. It's a cinematic piece that holds the listeners attention through a long journey. On "The Wasteland" Lokkegaard's writing highlights the contribution of Ginman, Kjellberg and Gram with its bluesy pacing and rhythmic tone.

Niels Lyhne Lokkegaard has a young lyrical voice and developed over three records an extraordinary compositional skill that beams through his entire band. Niels Lyhne Lokkegaard is a moving work from an artist that is really only just beginning to make his statement on the European scene but it is a bold statement that should be discovered by everyone. Brilliant stuff and highly recommended.

Also Recommended
Light Airborne (Calibrated Records)
Niels Lyhne Lokkegaard (Calibrated Records)

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