Björn Wennås

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Static Review

by Scott Yanow

This is a thoroughly unpredictable set of post-bop jazz that at times almost becomes avant-garde. The opening "Song 2" features some impressive wordless vocalizing by Carmen Marsico in the ensembles. In addition, trumpeter Phil Grenadier utilizes a staccato style in his solo reminiscent of Kenny Wheeler, and there is some thunderous bowed bass from Bruno Råberg. "Static" is a spacy and intriguing tune that sounds like part of "All the Things You Are." Also notable are three standards that have some of their melody notes altered. Certainly these versions of "Nardis" (which puts the focus on Björn Wennås' guitar) and "Ruby My Dear" (a duet between Marsico's voice and the leader's guitar) are unique, while Coltrane's "Lonnie's Lament" is not all that recognizable. While the guitar/bass/drums numbers are worthy, it is the five selections that include Marsico and/or Grenadier (they are on four songs apiece) that are most exciting and adventurous. This set is well worth several listens, and Carmen Marsico is a name to look for in the future.

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