17th April 2015
The dapper Norwegian dude was back in town for his second outing at the
Capstone in a couple of years, tonight showcasing his new album Pinball.
Neset, a virtuoso on the jazz scene all over Europe, fronted with his
fabled saxophones a group which comprised Magnus Hjorth (piano), Petter
Eldh (bass), Jim Hart (vibes) and Josh Blackmore (drums).
Impeccable in his striking white blazer and blond swept back hair, he
started quietly after a vibes intro, his fuggy tenor sax matching the
mood. The rest of the band joined in with some generic stuff; huff and
puff strumming from the bass beside some mellow drums and symbols from
Blackmore, before Marius was let out of his cage.
As the evening's soundscape developed there was little to indicate which
track was being played, but that did not detract from the enjoyment factor.
Soon there was a wall of sound, Hart's vibes whirring with Eldh handclapping
his bass, before it went into soporific mode, laconic and sultry music,
resuscitated by another all in saxophone assault. Not yet thirty-years-old,
his prolific output, composed as well as played by Neset, is very grown
up, often producing an amorphous mass of edgy sounds, like the blast that
took us to the interval.
The second half started with solos from the rest of the band, the subdued
stage lighting adding to the colour of the music, with the vibes again
cutting it above the rest, before soprano sax took over and went on and
on and on; Petter Eldh's bass joined in an exquisite duo of sexy mid-range
jazz echoing the artwork on the cover of the new CD, on sale downstairs.
Next, some tinkling piano from Hjorth accompanied a sax intermezzo, before
a taut all in web of accomplished playing with staccato blowing and contrived
vibes to finish: a bit too soapy perhaps.
This mellifluously Scandinavian take from a band seriously together continued
with Neset's virtuoso grasp of instrument and sound in a monstrous solo
The gig climaxed with an encore, a riotous wall of noise allowing enough
latitude for some histrionic bass. The collective bows were well received
by the audience at the end, but there could have been a bigger crowd in
to see the 'new' Jan Garbarek, before he is off on his travels again around