Kristian Jørgensen

Kristian Jørgensen Meets Monty Alexander

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Kristian Jørgensen, an excellent Danish jazz violinist, is joined by the esteemed American pianist Monty Alexander on this varied and engaging record. Jørgensen's got a strong band in bassist Thomas Fonnesbaek, drummer Kresten Osgood, and especially guitarist Jacob Fischer, whose versatility adds a great deal to the session. After a kind of New Orleans rock & roll beginning with "The Mill" (featuring spicy slide-fuzz work from Fischer), the record settles into more of a straight-ahead jazz vibe, yet manages to remain unpredictable. Jørgensen's originals offer creative twists on the blues and rhythm changes; his ballad "Jespers Vuggevise" unfolds with grace and simplicity, borrowing gestures from classical harmony. He gives "A Flower Is a Lovesome Thing" a powerful, impressionistic reading and slaps a sort of cowboy feel on Django Reinhardt's "Oriental Shuffle," giving Fischer a good spotlight on acoustic guitar. Monty Alexander's wife, Caterina Zapponi, lays down an effective vocal on "Estate" just before Jørgensen and Alexander wrap up with a duo version of "Willow Weep for Me." Throughout, Alexander's harmonic resources are boundless, and Jørgensen rises to the occasion beautifully.

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