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Album Review

Where Lotte Anker's saxophone style lies somewhere between the pithy harmonic content of Lee Konitz and the elaborate, Zen-like, snake-like trains of thought extrapolated by Marty Ehrlich. You'd be hard pressed to instantly recognize her via a few notes, but you can appreciate her long-form ideas stretched out over time, developed from a variety of tones and timbres, exploring the inner reaches of her alto or tenor sax without hanging on the edge of a cliff playing overtone-based music. A pure improviser, Danish native Anker pushes and pulls a variety of extended themes on this recording, with the American-based team of acoustic pianist Craig Taborn alongside drummer Gerald Cleaver. There's a certain restraint evident in the three long-winded tracks, especially from Cleaver, as the trio streams along on a fairly straight path, not in the mainstream jazz sense, but more on a level of constant acute listening and responding. A certain amount of give and take is noticeable, but it sounds as though Anker is unquestionably the leader, with Taborn and Cleaver playing major roles inspiring the saxophonist to change depth, pace, and placement of all her well-chosen notes. "Magic Carpet" is perfectly titled, and for nearly 27 minutes glides along with echoing sax and overtures of soft tones, taking off very slowly as Taborn's mystery-shaded piano underlines the restrained climate at no more than a mezzo forte level. Cleaver's spare solo further emphasizes the mood, which does end up more interactive and animated in a dialog. The band is playful at the outset of "Real Solid," but still at a low ebb as Anker's sax enters in darkness, and feels around fishing for light until Taborn's witty, busy piano sheds some direction or insight as Anker follows into a cacophonous passage. The nubby textures of "Berber" are not unlike its real life, heathered, broadloom, off-white color pallete, equal and serene, avoiding bold or flashy accessories. This is the most conversational track, not in an expected Afro-Asiatic language, but emphasizing the sharing and trading of valuable phrases and motifs. It seems Taborn's ire is rankled midway through, sparking more busy notes, with Cleaver's brushes flying in the face of challenge, ending with a quite pretty and attractive waltz segment. Patient listeners will be more inclined to enjoy the Anker trio, especially if you have the opportunity to hear them live in performance, as captured here in Cologne. While this recording only scratches the surface of their vast collective potential, it does give an indication of how much they enjoy and respect each other's company, and their high level of musicianship. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi

Live At the Loft, Lotte Anker
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  • 9,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: 30 March 2009

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