Arild Andersen Group – Affirmation (2022) [FLAC 24 bit, 96 kHz]

Arild Andersen Group - Affirmation (2022) [FLAC 24 bit, 96 kHz] Download

Artist: Arild Andersen Group
Album: Affirmation
Genre: Jazz
Release Date: 2022
Audio Format:: FLAC (tracks) 24 bit, 96 kHz
Duration: 45:25
Total Tracks: 8
Total Size: 802 MB


1-1. Arild Andersen Group – One (Affirmation Part I) (04:29)
1-2. Arild Andersen Group – Two (Affirmation Part I) (06:13)
1-3. Arild Andersen Group – Three (Affirmation Part I) (04:40)
1-4. Arild Andersen Group – Four (Affirmation Part I) (08:22)
1-5. Arild Andersen Group – Five (Affirmation Part II) (07:09)
1-6. Arild Andersen Group – Six (Affirmation Part II) (01:38)
1-7. Arild Andersen Group – Seven (Affirmation Part II) (05:23)
1-8. Arild Andersen Group – Short Story (07:27)


Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen, an ECM musician for more than fifty years, is a masterful player who has always welcomed a challenge. His first recording with his new quartet – including rising stars Marius Neset and Helge Lien (both bandleaders in their own right) – is almost entirely improvised.

The players make the leap of faith together and find and develop forms in the moment, an object lesson in spontaneous group creativity. Affirmation was recorded in November 2021 at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio.Music should be an atmosphere. And few instrumentalists are as aware or quietly accomplished at constructing textures and evoking feelings as free jazz bassist Arild Andersen, who in the past decade has become a seemingly bottomless well of creativity both as a writer and player. Since his early days collaborating with Jan Garbarek, Andersen maintained a telepathic connection with saxophonists. So it’s no surprise that after ending a long and fruitful music partnership with Tommy Smith, Andersen’s new quartet is led by another saxophonist, Marius Neset. This ambitious outing is focused around the seven-part “Affirmation” which is credited to the entire group of Andersen, Neset, pianist Helge Lien and drummer Håkon Mjåset Johansen. The session is filled out by Andersen’s lovely, melodic composition “Short Story,” which showcases Neset’s most accessible side.

Recorded at frequent ECM haunt Rainbow Studio in Oslo, the sound by engineer Martin Abrahamsen and producer Eicher is typically transparent and embracive. Opening with only piano ripples, cymbals and an odd abrupt break between movements, Affirmation turns lyrical in its second movement with Andersen, the center of attention, adding flurries of notes. Neset’s playing is bold and strident, exploratory and yes, affirming. Most impressive, and consistent for the gifted Andersen, is the space given in all movements for each member to express and search, the sum of which paints sound across a vast sonic canvas. After another unexpected curt break between movements, the longish (8:22) fourth movement begins with Neset’s short, breathy stabs over Anderson’s plucked bass before becoming funky and outright aggressive as the entire quartet plays together. Lien’s fleet runs, and his galloping chords are particularly beautiful and timely as this torrent of sound comes to a cacophonous early climax before winding down into a laconic duo of Andersen and Neset. After a playful fifth movement and a very short sixth that’s dominated by forceful rolling figures from Lien and squiggly phrases from Neset, Affirmation grows conclusive and complete, ending with descending then ascending piano and burbling from Andersen before expansive, optimistic articulations from Neset. Andersen’s success as a leader deepens. – Robert Baird

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