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Songs of the North & There and Back

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Customer Reviews

Hip and Soulful!!

I recommend this album to anyone who is looking for something new and interesting. It's beautiful and forward thinking melodies soar over a strong rhythmic core. Each song has it's own ambiance but they tie into eachother seemlessly like a story. "Ingmar" is one of my all time favorite jazz compositions it is right up there with Miles Davis' "Blue in Green". Enjoy!


Songs of the North and There and Back is a journey through landscapes, emotional depth, atmosphere, and soulful groove. Devin Arne's debut album features an ensemble of fantastic musicians from the McGill University in Montreal, Canada where the album was recorded. Listen for elements of the styles of some of the jazz greats including Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Grant Green, Ben Monder, Jim Hall, as well as pop giants Radiohead, Zero 7, and Sigur Ros in Devin's work. One can find a dazzling variety of guitar textures and sounds accompanied by the expressive power of the trumpet and saxophone duet and stylistic brilliance of the drummer. Arne carefully balances his three-sectioned album with finely-crafted ballads and head-bopping jams. There is a feeling of continuity and unity as you listen to the album, along with myriads of harmonic and tonal variety. The album opens with "There and Back," which is one of my favorites - in a true jam style. Over a grooving ostinato that permeates the track is a unique call-and-response melody which can also be found in "Early Spring." The melodies, solos, and eventual final tutti jam all have the undertones of this awesome groove. Another favorite is "Sympathetic Vibrations" which tells of other worlds with its advanced harmonies and rich, singing melodies. One can not help but nodding their head along the bouncing 6/8 groove. "Broken Heat" opens immediately outlining the augmented scale and telling of deep, chilling sorrows. Free-flowing improvisation may catch you off-guard, but the track eventually swells to an all-encompassing depth that makes this track another favorite. The album closes with the sensitive "Ingmar," combining pensive melody reminiscent of Antonio Carlos Jobim's "How Insensitive" with some more modern harmonies. For sheer simplicity and beauty, this arrangement is another one of my favorites.


"Songs of the North & There and Back" has musical depth, variety in range, and a maintained cohesive atmosphere. The album's creator, Devin Arne, seems to have written this record with a visible talent, yet one that is not distracting, for the songwriter, as all songwriters should, covers his tracks on every song. From Nathalie's impending passion and moments of tranquility to Broken Heat's vibrant and nearly ironic calm, this record takes the listener on a journey of sort, swinging from refreshing sushi jazz, to the solidity of European architecture, to the spaciousness of suburbian expansion. Buy this album; it will take you all the way there...and back.

Songs of the North & There and Back, The Devin Arne Quintet
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Rock
  • Released: Jan 30, 2009

Customer Ratings