33-year old bassist Nicolai Munch-Hansen doesn’t divide music in genres. When half of Denmark’s leading pop names need a bas- sist, they call him. So despite his great talent as a jazz bassist, his first recordings as a bandleader came relatively late in his career. He has performed, collaborated and recorded with an impressive list of prominent artists including Beautiful Day, John Tchicai, Caroline Henderson, and vocalist Kira Skov, whose new release LOOK UP AHEAD features Nicolai as bassist and co-producer.
CHRONICLES is Nicolai’s second CD in his own name. It exclu- sively features his original compositions, which are rooted in a classic tradition with a great fondness for solid melodic lines. His working band moves imaginatively in and out of the tunes in Nicolai’s elastic material, which pays homage to as well as challen- ges the rich tradition of jazz. The production places the music in a dusky, wired, lo-fi setting contrasting the simple melodies. Lyrical moods and expressive explosions interchange in a beautiful pro- duction showing how wonderfully the present can blend with the tradition in a vital and progressive, vibrant symbiosis. The best in jazz is always on the move.
Mixing freedom and stringency demands a lot of musicians, and Nicolai’s band features some of Denmark’s finest young talent. Each of them fronts his own trend-setting ensemble, but CHRONICLES offers a unique opportunity to hear them together. They play as a collective, not as a band put together
solely for this project. This group can be heard year round at venues and festivals. Nicolai Munch-Hansen’s band is a living organism; a tight unit with space for each individual and a rare ear for interplay.
On bass, Nicolai Munch-Hansen; on tenor saxophone, American Ned Ferm, whose second home is Copenhagen; on trombone Mads Hyhne. The pianist is Søren Kjærgaard, Jakob Bro plays the guitar, and drummer Jakob Høyer completes the line-up. Vocalist Kira Skov is featured on “My Man”, written by her espe- cially for this recording.
Ein junger (33 J.) Bassist als Bandleader? Der auch noch alle Stücke komponiert? Reichlich selten, vor allem für einen Musiker, der einer der gefragtesten Bassisten der aktuellen dänischen Popmusik-Szene ist. Umso mehr lohnt es sich, Munch-Hansen zwei Ohren zu leihen. Seine Kompositionen sind bemerkenswert, und seine Band hervorragend eingespielt. Modern Jazz mit klare melodischer Struktur, und mit immer wieder überraschenden Wendungen.