Tuesday, March 13, 2012


Phronesis are a dynamic trio who need little introduction. Their fourth album, Walking Dark, is the highly anticipated follow-up to the acclaimed Alive [Edition], which was voted ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ by both Jazzwise and MOJO magazines in 2010. Since the success of this release, the band have toured widely across Europe and North America, earning consistent praise for their vibrant live performances.

Formed by Danish bass player Jasper Høiby in 2005, the energy and individuality of Phronesis comes from an extraordinary democracy of expression and almost telepathic empathy between the musicians – three of the finest players on the European jazz scene today. British pianist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger come together with Høiby to create a poly-rhythmic sound that is utterly accessible despite its underlying complexity, full of emotion and heart yet always delivered with clarity and direction.

Walking Dark is titled in reference to a series of concerts the trio played in total darkness as a dedication to Høiby’s visually impaired sister, and is the culmination of a body of work they have explored in performance since their second release, Green Delay. Høiby explains, “The Pitch Black project has provided us with the opportunity to focus on the intuitive aspect of how we communicate musically between ourselves, and with the listener. For me personally, it’s also been a way of giving something positive back to my sister, who continues to walk in darkness”.

Høiby describes Walking Dark as ‘a joint Phronesis adventure’ – the first album in which all members of the band contribute to the writing, as well as the arranging. Yet through these individual compositional textures, each track nevertheless displays the characteristic groove-driven ‘Phronesis sound’, incorporating constantly shifting yet expertly tight rhythmic patterns and exploratory openness. The album sees all three players reaching further than ever before, creating music that by turns drives with urban energy and resonates with mountainous space and sheer delightful abstraction.

With Walking Dark, this compelling trio have replicated in a studio setting the cha¬rismatic energy that makes them such a remarkable live force on stages internationally, and have produced an indisputable statement as to where jazz is heading in 2012.

JASPER HØIBY double bass

Source: Edition Records

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