Bagland – Cirkel(Jaegwer Community: JCM029. LP Review by Nick Davies)Cirkel is the third release from the Danish quintet Bagland and is available on vinyl, MP3 and CD. It follows on from the band’s two previous releases, NOMAD and Bagland. The common theme for those two albums was the soundscape of clear, spacious and acoustic rhythms, often associated with Scandinavia. The new album, Cirkel, moves in a different direction, introducing new sounds of distorted drums, synthesizer, spacey guitar and trumpet effects. The music draws inspiration from the environment at the very top of Denmark.
As with their previous release, trumpeter Jakob Sørensen retains the same line-up of Alex Jonsson on guitar, Mathias Jaeger on piano, Fredrick Sakham on double bass and Frej Lesner on drums, their tightness evident in their faultless music, seamlessly woven to create a very enjoyable listen.
Contrasting from Bagland’s previous release, here Cirkel certainly takes a different direction with a more mature, more cinematic sound. Sørensen explains that this was a conscious decision: he was keen to explore alternatives to Scandinavian jazz on this album in order to develop a pathway to distinction for the band.
Each track is unique, the composition taken to another level, telling a story that leads the listener on a mysterious journey from fairytales to church. Sørenson’s sublime trumpet playing is brilliantly accompanied by the rest of the band. If this was food, it would be worthy of at least a Michelin Star.
Overall, Cirkel builds on the successes of their previous two releases, despite the transformation. It does take a couple of listens to fully appreciate what Sørensen is trying to achieve but this only enhances the listening experience. The key to any record is the strength of the composition. Despite his young age. Sørenson is proving to be a master composer and, if this continues, he is surely tipped for greatness. Of the younger players, he easily ranks alongside Laura Jurd and Yazz Ahmed although it would not be out of place to compare him to Dizzy Gillespie or Miles Davis.
This album is a truly magical musical masterpiece from one of the up and coming stars of jazz at this time. It is, so far, one of the standout releases of 2019 and will no doubt be on many a playlist for years to come.