Thomas Winther Andersen”Line Up”NOR-CD/Musikkoperatørene
… but cool jazz was not dead
With his base in Amsterdan, bass player Thomas Winther Andersen has headed the multinational band Line Up -a well-orchestrated and four year old jazz quintet which has thrown its attentions on cool jazz, first of all directed towards the pianist and trendsetter Lennie Tristano.
Even if Tristano and the group of musicians around him (Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh) are notoriously an obvious source of inspiration and references for Winther Andersen, drummer John Engels, New York saxophonist Jimmy Halperin and Oslo musicians Torgrim Sollid (trumpet) and Håkon Storm-Mathisen (guitar), the five skilled musicians have equally managed to characterize this album through their own way of attacking it.
Alongside a bunch of elegantly processed standard numbers, it is the band’s leader with performances from Halperin and Sollid who show their muscles in the composer role. It all flows lightly and playfully with a nuanced and mellowed atmosphere as the framework around the cunning melody patterns. Crammed with neat movements, transparent sound pictures step forward like a collection of richly detailed layers of notes, all presented with sensitivity and with an underlying perfunctory nerve. It is true that the musical disposition is not as blue and cool as Tristano’s, but this group has nevertheless a firm and solid grasp of the cool jazz concept.
Even if one is flooded by packed chord patterns with this coordinated gang, there is still refreshingly, free scope in the well-arranged cosmos of sound. Here there is no shortage of individual and collective sanctuaries, and the opportunities for small improvised digressions on the way, are seized eagerly by an inspired team of musicians who have a calling.
Winther Andersen & Co have made a solid and sure-footed jazz album which, rooted in one of jazz’s most exciting expressional styles, offers a particularly tasteful listening experience.
Bergens Tidende – Thursday 18 February 1999