Im Beruf / Mads la Cour

Grandpa Left You Nothing

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Trumpeter/flügelhornist Mads la Cour is one of the bright lights on the European jazz scene. His second CD features his band Im Beruf, a hard-driving quintet that digs into his fascinating compositions. The insistent repetitious chant of Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard's alto sax in "Grandpa Left You Nothing" at first makes it sound like the piece is an Ornette Coleman-like free jazz work, but la Cour quickly changes the mood to a driving post-bop setting filled with fiery solos, especially by Løkkegaard. The energetic "Snoose'n'Lose" blends elements of avant-garde and post-bop with spirited solos by the leader on trumpet, pianist Magnus Hjorth, and bassist Petter Eldh. "Invisible Walls" is a tension-filled piece with more than its share of sudden twists. No translation is given for the title "Ivisto Banasto," though this dark ballad with its stairstep piano lines suggesting someone pacing the floor leaves a haunting impression. There is never a dull moment throughout these invigorating sessions.