Thursday, April 06, 2017

Two New Albums from Bassist Anne Mette Iversen, Round Trip and Ternion Quartet

Anne Mette Iversen Quartet +1 is an extension of Anne Mette's longest running group: Anne Mette Iversen Quartet, featuring John Ellis (tenor saxophone), Peter Dahlgren (trombone), Danny Grissett (piano), Iversen (bass) and Otis Brown III (drums). Established in NYC in 2002, the musical relationship and the improvisational rapport of its musicians have developed to the supreme, as have their music and the compositions. This group voices a musical ideal and aesthetic that Anne Mette has sought after for many years; having found it, her seventh recording, Round Trip, feels like going full circle. It expresses on several levels what is innate in the words "round trip", and how we all strive to satisfy our longing to come, to be, to find, and to have, a home.

Originally the meaning of 'round trip' was to return to the starting point via a different road. Anne Mette explains, "when I wrote the tune 'Round Trip', it was about a deep and heartfelt wish I had to return to my two sons, who I had left in another country for a few days. As this album and this music came about, 'round trip' then became a key idea for the album. In the sense of coming home, it describes the feeling I have every time I play with this group. It refers to the many (round) trips we have taken together over the years, but also how much we have grown as a band, musicians and persons, and how we, no matter where each one of us is placed in the world, get together to make music and share our experiences. Even on a personal level I see the many round trips in our journey through life and music." Round Trip is simply jazz on a high level, a feeling of unity and togetherness that can be otherwise hard to find. Highly recommended! 

In 2012 Anne Mette moved to Berlin, and at the beginning of 2015 she formed a new group, The Ternion Quartet, which brings out a new side of her musical personality. The group is front-lined by the two amazing horn players: alto saxophonist Silke Eberhard (risingstar, DownBeat Magazine 2015), and trombonist Geoffrey DeMasure (professor at The Jazz Institute of Berlin); and it is brilliantly supported by Ms. Iversen herself and long-time friend and colleague from NYC, German born drummer Roland Schneider. "This group is to me what Berlin is all about. It is fresh, it is creative and it is giving room to a multitude of inspiration and cultures. There is an element of total freedom and there is an element of chance and risk-taking. Anything and everything goes," explained Iversen.

The Ternion Quartet plays music that is energetic and fun. Like fireworks; the music offers a tremendous display of colors and moods. Rooted in the tradition of jazz, swing and improvisation, the compositions give ample room for the virtuosic improvisers to express their creative personality; and with the experience, maturity and flexibility of the musicians the music can change direction on the fly and is constantly new, fresh and renewed again. Compositionally the music is based on a linear and horizontal concept, allowing the individual instruments' melodies to conduct the harmonic map, whenever that is desired. The aim is for the full emotional spectrum of being human to be expressed by these outstanding musicians and improvisers.

The Ternion Quartet has toured successfully in Spain (December 2015), performs regularly in and around Berlin, and has been invited to perform at Aarhus International Jazzfestival in Denmark, in July 2017.

Anne Mette Iversen is always quite busy composing, and not always for her fantastic groups. In 2016 Iversen was Composer in Residence for The Norrbotten Big Band, one of Sweden's leading ensembles, and she is currently composing music for The Orchestra (DK), for a performance in September of this year.

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