Kristian Borring – Silent Storm
(Jellymould JM JJ024. CD Review by Peter Jones)
The third album from Danish-born guitarist Kristian Borring once again features him with his regular trio: Arthur Lea (piano), Mick Coady (double bass) and Jon Scott (drums). The band’s debut, released on an Italian label in 2011, also featured the US-based altoist Will Vinson, and on their second album, two years ago, they were joined by Jim Hart on vibes. This time, however, we get just the quartet, unadorned and self-sufficient.
Last November they headed for the recording studio fresh from a seven-day tour and got the whole thing done in an intense 24-hour session. Borring produced it himself, and all these excellent tunes are all his own compositions.
It was good idea to take advantage of some road-time together, and then to record in a single heads-down effort. You can hear their tightness in moments like the bass and drums duo on Ton. As you would expect, they swing like the well-established unit they are, sounding slick and hip, but melodic throughout; despite their modernity, they play with one foot anchored in the jazz tradition. Take the dramatic opener When He Goes Out To Play. It begins with a syncopated chromatic theme, before Coady settles them into a gorgeous swing groove. Here, Borring’s tone is a stinging rasp, with its possibilities for extra sustain, rather than the clean tone he later employs on, for example, the lovely ballads April Fools and Silent Storm. On both of these quieter numbers you can hear his debt to Jim Hall.
Pretty much every track is a joy. After a thoughtful intro, Islington Twilight rocks along with gusto, somewhat in the style of Stuart McCallum, before stuttering to a halt to introduce a bit of flanged guitar shenanigans on the fade. Everyman is a lengthy workout in the Phrygian mode, rather in the vein of the great Nicolas Meier, which features a solo from Scott in the final section. That’s another pleasing feature of this album: it’s by no means all about the guitar – Borring wants to highlight every member of the quartet.
This is confident, sophisticated work at every level – composition, arrangement, execution – and a pleasure to listen to throughout.
Album release is 29th July.
Tour dates in August and September:
– Spotted Dog, Birmingham (23 Aug)
– SUJC, Bournemouth (24)
– Pizza Express, London (30)
– Lescar, Sheffield (31) – Dempsey’s, Cardiff (7 Sept)
– Jazz East, Felixstowe (11)
– Future Inn, Bristol (18)
– Southampton Jazz Club (20).