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iTunes Review

It’s clear that Norwegian guitarist Jacob Young’s quintet has played together for a while. The group is both flexible and precise, the sort of qualities that develop from extensive touring. And they seem to be a democratic unit; even when someone is soloing, there often isn’t the usual sense of lead and accompaniment. The wonderful drumming of Jon Christensen — his cymbal work is extraordinary — is what holds the band together. The other instruments’ sounds seem to spring from his finely woven net of textured percussion. (Bassist Mats Eilertsen is his rhythm section mate.) On a typical track, trumpeter Mathias Eick and tenor saxophonist/bass clarinetist Vidar Johansen team up to play Young’s pleasantly melodic themes. On some tracks, the horn players don’t even solo, but they play a vital role as they lend great expressiveness and detail to their parts. Young, who was first introduced to jazz by his American father and studied with the guitarist Jim Hall, brings a light touch to both his electric and acoustic work.

Customer Reviews

Steel string victory

Young’s being a good fit for ECM has more to do with his musicianship, the air between the instruments, the elegance of these compositions, than being from Oslo (as the iTunes reviewer said about his debut “Evening Falls”). But what’s most inspiring here is Young’s risk with the acoustic guitar in an ensemble format (think Towner’s 12 string with his group Solstice, Metheny’s work on “New Chautauqua” and certain cuts from “Rejoicing”). ECM’s heroic inclusion of steel-string since the inception of the label has kept me a loyal and passionate fan since the late 70’s, and here they’ve done it again. When you hear that dark sparkle (too deep for an unplugged archtop, I think) emerge in “Near South End”, “Out of Night”, and “Maybe We Can”, it’s like catching the first effervescent whiff of the incoming tide. Young’s got “the tone” (the same iTunes reviewer was right on the money with that Abercrombian “roundness”), and the sonic delicacy of his instrument demands patience and poise from the others. There’s distinct longing and sadness in the acoustic guitar, especially when it is given a chance to sing in a jazz combo -- especially the way Young coaxes it.


Born: 1970 in Lillehammer, Norway

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Jacob Young was born in 1970 in Lillehammer, Norway, and currently resides in Oslo. He began studying guitar on his own at the age of 12 after being introduced to jazz by his father, an American. He studied music at the University of Oslo and received a scholarship to the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City. While in New York, he studied the jazz repertoire as a gateway to harmonic improvisation. His primary instructor was the legendary guitarist Jim Hall, who influenced his...
Full Bio
Sideways, Jacob Young
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Avant-Garde Jazz
  • Released: Nov 06, 2007

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