Nordic Disruption

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"NYNDK" stands for New York (NY), Norway (N), and Denmark (DK), the origins of the group's members. The quartet, which was formed in 2003, is augmented on this CD by guest drummer Scott Neumann. NYNDK plays a quirky variety of post-bop jazz. While their music generally swings quite well, the results are never predictable. On the opening "Histrionics," tenor saxophonist Ole Mathisen plays a remarkable solo whose staccato phrasing is slightly reminiscent of Anthony Braxton while his very impressive rapid clusters of perfectly articulated notes hint at Don Menza. Mathisen (who occasionally plays more laid-back on soprano) works very well with the extroverted trombonist Chris Washburne. The well-titled "Histrionics" lives up to its name, the two horns also display some musical magic on "Derivative," and their playing on "The Elephant's Lullaby" is a bit humorous. The rhythm section sometimes takes on a traditional role behind the horns but, in other spots, they add urgency, commentary, and new ideas to the mix. The music, mostly originals plus an obscurity and "I Hear a Rhapsody," is given consistently colorful interpretations and, while the overall results may not be startlingly innovative, the constantly exuberant feeling, plus the best horn solos and interplay, make this one a keeper.

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