Carsten Dahl

Carsten Dahl Jazzpar 2000 Quintet

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Danish pianist Carsten Dahl won the 2000 Jazzpar Award, with this CD being the result. A versatile player who seems to assume a different personality on each recording, Dahl this time around is heard at his most adventurous. Actually his solos are not quite as significant as those of Tony Coe (heard on tenor, clarinet and soprano) and the underrated but impressive trombonist Jorg Huke. Each of the six songs has its moments. "Heartflower" has a haunting melody, an inventive use of Lars Danielsson on cello and a wonderful blend between clarinet and trombone. "Escapes" is a bit like Keith Jarrett's 1970s quartet with Dewey Redman, with Dahl showing the Jarrett influence in his playing, Coe on soprano, and Huke accompanied for a time by fairly free bass and drums. "Crazy Folks" is built around four European folk melodies, "Song For Christina" is a ballad feature for Coe's tenor and Coe sounds a bit like Paul Gonsalves on his "Circular Tango." The closing "Touch Of Happiness" has Huke showing off his impressive multiphonics during a remarkable five-minute unaccompanied section. All in all, this is a memorable set of colorful and chance taking post-bop jazz played by some of the most talented European jazz musicians.

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