Richard Andersson, Per Møllehøj, Jorge Rossy – Inviting
(Review by AJ Dehany)
Here are three fine players relaxing into standards.
Not yet a subscriber of our Wednesday Breakfast Headlines?
Join the mailing list for a weekly roundup of Jazz News.
Turn the clock back to 1995-2002 and the young Jorge Rossy was Brad Mehldau’s drummer, and since then has built an extensive back catalogue as a bandleader, sometimes on the drum kit, sometimes on percussion-adjacent instruments: piano, vibraphone and marimba. Guitarist Per Møllehøj and bass player Richard Andersson are well regarded on the Danish jazz scene. Andersson, blind as a result of a fireworks accident when he was fourteen, is superb.
The trio’s album Inviting pays tribute to the familiar charm of the standards. They imbue them with a gentle appeal and a luminous feel. “You are my everything”, “Like someone in love”, the bebop “Conception”, all are given cute trio treatments for guitar, bass and drums. The album’s four originals have a more modern feel less allied to the involved chord progressions of the standards. “Uganda blues” is more bouncy than bluesy. “Trance blues” might just be the most interesting and angular composition on the album. But as the improvisation begins, we find ourselves being taken to a comfort zone or indeed given a comfort blanket, and the experience becomes not so much ‘inviting’ as a just a bit too laid-back for its own good.
Perhaps it is the wistfulness and slightly sentimental appeal of “Moon river” that somehow imbues the whole album and gives it its core vibe. Mancini’s immortal melody has retained its lustre in spite of having been nailed in a definitive reading on its first incarnation from Audrey Hepburn (others in this category of first-thought-best-thought would include “Somewhere Over The Rainbow”, which, so they say, was originally cut out of The Wizard of Oz by Louis B. Mayer, Head of MGM). You can’t beat that first reading, and yet it’s probably the tune every saxophonist learns first and has some grounds for being the finest melody every written (a discussion for another time). Some tunes just play themselves.
This is a straight-ahead, gently grooving set. Sofas need to be “inviting”, but a really good jazz album needs something more.
LINKS: Richard Andersson’s website
Categories: Album reviews