In days gone by, most jazz albums were made this way. The musicians entered the studio, often at night, to keep costs down, and a few hours later emerged blinking in the sunlight, having recorded enough material for one or two albums. Bass player Lars Danielsson and drummer Morten Lund had worked together extensively over the years, with singer Caecile Norby and guitarist Ulf Wakenius. On this occasion, they were joined by the young Norwegian tenor saxophonist, Marius Neset, a rising star on the European jazz scene.
The three musicians met at Millfactory studio in Copenhagen in April 2014, each bringing a few tunes of their own. “It all went so smoothly,” explained Danielsson. “The best thing about improvised music is when it has a flow. We could feel that directly, right from the very first take of Little Jump. That is the take to be heard on the album.”
Little Jump is quite a departure from Danielsson’s recent compositions, more grounded in hard bop. Neset grabs the tune by the scruff of its neck, delivering an impressive solo, bursting with ideas, before handing over to Danielsson. The title track is more atmospheric, opening with some subtle percussion and bass, and some added post-production atmospherics, courtesy of Danielsson. Neset only enters two minutes in; there’s a hint of Garbarek to his playing here, but his tone is more muscular, less ethereal.
Up North was composed by Lund, and kicks off with a faster, jaunty beat, which brings out a more playful sound from the saxophonist, who again demonstrates his versatility and exquisite pacing. Salme is an original composition by the saxophonist. It is a regular feature of his live performances, and usually played as a duo, but this is the first time the tune has been recorded. The tune is free, but not abstract, and again one can detect the influence of Jan Garbarek.
Folksong originally appeared on Danielsson’s 1981 album, Poems. It’s given a much funkier read here, which works well, and demonstrates yet another side to Neset’s fine playing.
Evening Song For B is a lovely composition by Lund, opening with brushed drums and subtle bass, which pave the way for some reflective saxophone by Neset. This tune also features a gorgeous solo by Danielsson, who delights as always.
The only cover on the album is The Cost Of Living, which was composed by Don Grolnick, and brings the album to a close.
Sun Blowing was recorded in just six hours, and aside from some double-tracked saxophone on Evening Song, and the occasional production flourish from Danielsson, you hear the natural flow that took place that afternoon. Simple, but effective. Highly recommended.