Jeppe Zeeberg – Occasionally, Good Things Do Happen
(Self Released. Album review by Peter Slavid)
Almost exactly four years ago I reviewed Universal Disappointment, an exciting and quirky album by young Danish pianist Jeppe Zeeberg.
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There have been two other albums since then, including a set of solo piano variations based on Haydn’s Arietta. This new album, his eighth, is as unusual and as dynamic as ever. It features his regular band The Absolute Pinnacle of Human Achievement along with several guests. The album, which he has released himself, was funded by a Kickstarter campaign in which he described the music as “life-affirming music for fucked-up times”.
The music is a melange of multiple styles, mixing vaudeville, heavy rock riffs, improv and broken rhythms, with several melodies and styles competing with each other inside the same track. There’s also some spoken word – including an introduction to the album. The whole thing is infused with wit and humour and nothing is allowed to overstay its welcome before its replaced by something completely different.
One of the shortest tracks at three minutes is Puritanical Pleasures. It starts with a cheesy guitar and electronic keyboard melody, sounding like the introduction to a 1960s sitcom. This is replaced by a heavy rock riff from the full band, then comes a country music tune, and then the first melody is back after which a new melody on the bass leads back into the riff. A bit more country style, distorted, takes us back to that first melody. Then we get what might be a computer generated voice suggesting that we try out another of Zeeberg’s albums. All of that inside three minutes! It would take far too long to describe the twists and turns of the longer tracks.
In a very different project Zeeberg is here in the UK in October touring as a duo with fellow Copenhagen Rhythmic Music Conservatory graduate, saxophonist Laura Toxværd. They are at the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music on October 6th and at the MAC in Birmingham on October 10th. The duo will certainly be very different to this album, but I’m sure it will be no less inventive.
Zeeberg’s music is in turn exciting, humorous, ridiculous and sometimes exhausting, but never ever boring.
Peter Slavid broadcasts a programme of European Jazz on Mix iCloud and various internet stations
The Absolute Pinnacle of Human Achievement:
Henrik Olsson (guitar)
Casper Nyvang Rask (bass, guitar)
Søren Høi (drums, perc)
Jeppe Zeeberg (piano, organ, synth)
Julie Kjær (flute, sax)
Ned Ferm (sax)
Erik Kimestad (trumpet)
Petter Hängsel (trombone, recorder)
Jonas Graverholt (perc)
Oliver Laumann (drums)