Origo with Bobo Stenson
"Origo" documents the continued collaboration between Plunge and piano great Bobo Stenson, it is Plunge's fourth album and their second together with Stenson. The rewarding collaboration between the trio and Stenson began in the fall of 2002, and has so far resulted in numerous tours of Sweden, several national and European radio broadcasts and a CD, "Plunge with Bobo Stenson", which was released on Kopasetic Productions in 2005. The music on "Origo" is improvised and based on intense listening, spontaneous composition and a far reaching sense of form, and it is clear how the quartet's music has evolved over the years - the pieces are longer, more elaborate and more minimalistic. The new record features a wide spectrum of sounds, textures and moods - from intense and suggestive grooves to beautiful ballads and sparse and sensitive interplay, and is a good example of contemporary, Scandinavian jazz - music that's an extension of the strong Nordic tradition of creative, personal and challenging jazz, a tradition that Bobo Stenson has been a big and important part of since the early 60's. Andreas Andersson - saxophones Bobo Stenson - piano Mattias Hjorth - double bass Peter Nilsson - drums Review qoutes: 'While 'Origo', a wondrous album not to be missed, stands on it's own as engrossing music that captivates from it's first notes, those who follow Plunge will immediately recognize it as both a document of the group's development and a synthesis of their last two albums, Refreshingly Addictive and Plunge With Bobo Stenson. The group has always emphasized free improvisation, but here it means spontaneous composition. Each piece is replete with themes or thematic phrases that are declaimed, developed, refracted and otherwise used as it's kernel. While saxophonist Andreas Andersson (alto and baritone sax) and Stenson are naturally in the foreground, with their interplay being the most obvious, bassist Matthias Hjorth and drummer Peter Nilsson exhibit an extremely high degree of musical empathy. Indeed, the music's attraction lies in how freedom, structure and development are balanced. While not being tonal in terms of key, or even modal, each piece does have a center of gravity defined by it's phrase kernel, which is fleshed out by Stenson's pithy chordal clusters. Development feels logical while being unpredictable, as each player's contributions (both pro- and re- active) move the piece forward. Furthermore, each piece has a mood, the sum total of which puts the album on the introspective and meditative side, combined however, with an underlying intensity borne of concentration and the lack of anything extraneous. Origo seems to simply unfurl before the ears in a timeless way, paradoxically demanding attention while simultaneously ignoring it. Alea Iacta Est opens 'Origo' and is the 'hottest' track, echoing in that way Lingua Franca from the 2005 album. The triptych of Origo, Giordaniesque and especially the nineteen-minute voyage that is Metamorphing dominates the album and defines it's artistic rigor. Origo is multilayered music for immersion, creating a perfect excuse for the repeat button and hours of becoming lost in it's spell. Marvelous.' - Budd Kopman/Allaboutjazz.com 'Although this music is completely improvised, it often does have that sublime, spacious Scandinavian vibe. The opening track, Alea Iacta Est, does have that sparse, fiord-like Nordic drift so common to ECM records in the mid-seventies with Mr.'s Stenson & Jan Garbarek. On Clement, Bobo's playing is hushed and haunting with some fine drifting alto sax from Andreas Andersson. Stenson plays with a ballad-like elegance throughout, the rest of the quartet also floating lyrically along with him. Metamorphing features some exquisite baritone sax, dreamy bowed bass and spooky piano. This piece is nearly 20 minutes long and unfolds organically. There is an oasis in our mirage that seems to soothe us gently at first. This entire disc has a rich, lush aura that feels like we are being massaged softly but steadily. Ommmmm...' - Bruce Lee Gallanter/Downtown Music Gallery, NYC.