Monday, February 10, 2014

Kasper Tom 5, Ost Bingo Skruer

Kasper Tom? That's Kasper Tom Christiansen, talented Danish drummer and composer. The Kasper Tom 5 and their Ost Bingo Skruer (Barefoot Records) is the first album to enjoy major distribution. It is a good one. It is a formidable lineup with Rudi Mahall, bass clarinet, Tomasz Dabrowski, trumpet, Petter Hängsel, trombone, Jens Mikkel Madsen, bass, and of course Kasper Tom.

You may know Rudi Mahall via his fine work with pianist Aki Takahashi. The others you may not know so well. They put together, thanks in part to Tom's arrangements/compositions, a tightly knit horn section with bass and drums of a well-healed but hard-edged sort.

Everyone can solo with imagination and does. But the collective interplay between the horns and the horns versus the rhythm has pronounced excitement going for it. If you remember some of the massed horn improvs in Ornette Coleman's landmark Free Jazz album, this may sometimes remind you of that--partially because Rudi's bass clarinet with the brass has that sound, but of course these are the notes of the present, so it's something for the now we are in.

The compositions/arrangements catapult this one to a high ranking in my mind. They are the extra push that make repeated listens to the album pay off.

The Kasper Tom 5 are up there as one of my favorite new Euro-avant outfits these days. This album is one place where you will hear why.

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