This two-CD set houses two projects by Danish acoustic bassist Anne Mette Iversen under the same roof. The first, Best of the West, was recorded in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2006 and unites Iversen's quartet (which also includes tenor and soprano saxophonist John Ellis, pianist Danny Grissett, and drummer Otis Brown III) with 4Corners, a string quartet consisting of Tine Rudloff and Sarah McClelland Jacobsen on violin, Anne Lindeskov on viola, and Mats Larsson on cello. And the second CD, Many Places, was recorded in New York City (Iversen's adopted home) in 2007 and finds her group playing by itself. Stylistically, Best of the West and Many Places (both of which were produced by Iversen and offer her compositions exclusively) are fairly different; both are relevant to post-bop, but while Best of the West combines post-bop with a strong Euro-classical/chamber music influence, Many Places' post-bop is decidedly straight-ahead. And the presence of 4Corners on Best of the West does a lot to give that disc its classical-influenced appeal. 4Corners are not simply relegated to the background on Best of the West; that string quartet enjoys a genuine dialogue with Iversen's quartet, and the two groups form a cohesive octet that has no problem finding some of the things that post-bop and chamber music have in common. Nonetheless, Best of the West is not for classical purists; the performances on Best of the West still swing even though they don't swing in the totally straight-ahead way that Many Places swings. Both discs are a creative success, and both are enjoyable demonstrations of what Iversen has to offer as an acoustic bassist, composer, producer and arranger.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson
Track Listing - Disc 1
|Best of the West, for saxophone, bass, piano & drums|
Track Listing - Disc 2
|Many Places, for string quartet|