New project combines Nordic melancholy, American elegance and the very best of improvised creation.
The Danish alto saxophonist Christina von Bülow has created a very special trio with two jazz masters in their own right: The Swedish bassist Palle Danielsson and the American drummer Eliot Zigmund. Together, they pick up standards from the great songbooks of jazz and make them their unique own creations; like birds singing, never quite repeating the same sound.
Thomas Clausen, writer of the liner notes, explains: “The present CD is all about this element of variation. But also about being natural, playing melodically. And it’s an album about interplay! Every bar these musicians play breathe this truth. Some tunes are straight standards. And the presentation of the melody is sometimes straight, as we know it. But it is varied all the time and never feels repetitive.”
When listening to Christina's playing on the album, you may sometimes be in doubt whether she's improvising or presenting a new melody, based on a familiar song. The truth is sometimes in between!
What makes the new album special is a feeling of a collective spirit throughout. Christina is the main soloist, but she is always giving herself time to breathe and making pauses in her solos and thus room for the other instruments. She’s a listener to the extent that the music becomes fascinatingly collective in passages, especially when the actual solos of a tune are over and there’s space for unexpected magic in the pauses before the melody returns.
Throughout the album her saxophone playing is carried by a more than competent bass & drums team. Palle Danielsson's bass is making counterpoint lines to the sax lines, while Eliot Zigmund is supporting everything elegantly. Both players are veterans from the history of jazz, first of all known from the groups of Keith Jarrett & Bill Evans respectively. Especially the spirit of Evans is present here and there – for instance in Jimmy Rowles' famous ballad “The Peacocks”. On this album, we also meet a coming star on his instrument, the young guitarist Pelle von Bülow, son of Christina. His playing is subtle and melodic like his mother's.