June 24, 2024

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CD review: Jonas Cambien Trio – Nature Hath Painted the Body 2021: Video, CD cover

Belgian-born, Oslo-based pianist Jonas Cambien couldn’t have chosen better partners than Andreas Wildhagen and André Roligheten to perform his cleverly constructed compositions. On its third studio album, his trio shows itself as a tightly interacting ensemble, with a free and playful approach. 

Cambiens compositions often start with simple ideas, never saying too much or too little, paving the way for collective improvisations that can go from explosive and wild to intricate and dreamy. In that way, the music displays a wide range of moods and types of energy. From the joyful, Ornette-reminiscent ‘1 000 000 Happy Locusts’, to the introspective, repetitive ‘Bushfire’, to the contemporary sounds on ‘Freeze’ that lead up to the stubborn ostinato on ‘Yoyo Helmut’. Throughout the album, the trio is using a variety of sounds and techniques that make the music sound fresh all the way, and full of surprises. Like the prepared piano in dialogue with Wildhagens imaginative percussion on ‘The Origins of Tool Use’, the animal-like sounds evoked by Rolighetens bass clarinet on ‘Herrieschoppers’, or the organ on the beautiful, deconstructed ballad Helium. On one track, there is no piano at all, but instead a short soprano sax duet played by Roligheten and Cambien, that serves as an intro to the irresistible, trance-like rhythms on ‘Mantis’.

Tracks
1. Oersoep 0:33
2. 1 000 000 Happy Locusts 5:24
3. Herrieschoppers 3:31
4. Hypnos 1:50
5. Mantis 3:29
6. The Origins of Tool Use 4:58
7. Bushfire 4:34
8. Freeze 7:39
9. Yoyo Helmut 2:51
10. Tongues 1:22
11. Helium 4:05

Jonas Cambien – piano, soprano sax (4), organ (6, 11)
André Roligheten – soprano, tenor sax, bass clarinet
Andreas Wildhagen – drums

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