Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Snik, Metasediment Rock

Another interesting, previously-unknown-to-me ensemble known as Snik has been filling my ears. I report in to you today on their album metasediment rock (Clean Feed 343 CD). They are a Euro quartet outfit headed by trombonist-composer Kristoffer Kompen. Joining him are Kristoffer Berre Alberts on saxophones, Ole Morten Vagan on double bass and Erik Nylander on drums.

The first thing that hit me were the compositions, two by Vagan, the rest by Kompen. They remind slightly of AACM classics in their attention to jazz roots but then their memorable expansion into contemporary realms. They set up the free-avant improvisations of the unit nicely, framing the music and contextualizing it.

Kompen is a trombonist of stature, channeling the full history of the instrument from Ory to Rudd and onwards, and finding a way to make it all original. Alberts is an ideal co-first-liner with facility, some soul and a thoroughgoing sound concept that make him project with Kompen a freshly brash and sometimes intricately subtle front line. Vagan has a well-rounded ability to speak in sound color and to note smartly, sometimes at  the same time. Erik Nylander drums freely and appropriately in ways that move the music forward and open it up as needed. He has a compositional role to play too, which all four integrate into what they do, structuring the freedom and giving it a container of signature sound.

The best part of the album, maybe, is that it remains strongly significant throughout. This is a band with something to say and no doubt they are a good one to hear live because they can open it up and keep it going no doubt for an entire evening.

Strongly recommended, I must say.

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