Kasper Villaume


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Danish jazz pianist Kasper Villaume's fifth CD as a leader finds him continuing to explore a mix of standards, popular jazz compositions, and his own originals. With two Americans (saxophonist Chris Potter and drummer Ali Jackson) plus fellow countryman Chris Minh Doky on bass along for the ride, they jump headfirst into a rousing rendition of Thelonious Monk's "Green Chimneys," with percolating solos by the leader and Potter. Their extended workout of George Gershwin's "Gone" is a brisk, breezy vehicle showcasing Potter's soprano sax in a playful setting. Villaume captures the bittersweet air of Bobby Troup's "The Meaning of the Blues" with a superb trio arrangement that also features Doky to good effect and is complemented by Jackson's subtle percussion. Villaume's compositions are also noteworthy. "Captain Kirkland" is a smoldering uptempo blues, while it's hard not to be caught up in the ominous sound of the dark but swinging "Hands." Doky, who also produced the CD, contributed the equally tense "The Sniper," though its fast tempo doesn't seem to fit its title. The chemistry between the musicians is readily apparent throughout this well-recorded and thoroughly enjoyable session.

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