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Phronesis | Parallax


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JASPER HØIBY double bass


1. 67000 mph – Anton Eger
2.Ok Chorale – Ivo Neame
3. Stillness – Jasper Høiby LISTEN | WATCH
4. Kite For Seamus – Ivo Neame
5. Just 4 Now – Jasper Høiby
6. Ayu – Anton Eger
7. A Silver Moon – Jasper Høiby
8. Manioc Maniac – Ivo Neame
9. Rabat – Anton Eger


Extraordinary communication between the players is often the foundation of extraordinary music making – as Phronesis prove every time they play. Years of performing, touring and recording have given the three members of the trio a matchless rapport. That inspires an ever-flowing fountain of new music, captured to perfection on this, the Anglo-Scandinavian trio’s sixth CD and their fourth for Edition Records.

Recorded in a single day at London’s fabled Abbey Road studios, Parallax is a brilliantly realised piece of music-making. It has all the standout features of the trio’s work. Rhythmic drive. Constant shifts in mood and texture. Drama heightened by dazzlingly fast reactions. All leavened by a melodic sense all three draw on as much when improvising as composing.

There are new elements to enjoy, too. Pianist Ivo Neame’s Manioc Maniac displays a stronger spicing of humour. Jasper Høiby’s Stillness, featuring the composer’s bowed bass, explores a contemplative mood less prominent in their earlier work. Fans of their more up tempo excursions also have plenty to enjoy, though – witness percussionist Anton Eger’s opener, 67,000mph, named for the earth´s speed around the sun.

All are enhanced by the endless rewarding details the three together offer as each piece unfolds. It’s an indispensible feature of their live shows which is captured here to perfection in a studio recording. This is truly collective music-making, in composition – with each of the trio contributing three of the nine titles – and in supremely interactive performances that display a brand of musical wit that captivates audiences.

All three players have remarkable facility, giving the unadorned, purely acoustic trio some of the strongest bass playing, fleetest piano, and most orchestral percussion you have ever heard. The music they make is lithe and supple, with the added spark that takes such fluid mobility beyond mere gymnastics on to balletic heights.

Each player writes for the trio knowing that their work will be taken somewhere different each time it is performed. They negotiate sometimes complex arrangements while retaining a spontaneity of suggestion and response that keeps the listener on the edge of their seat every time. The nine versions of new pieces captured here achieve a rare thing that only jazz at its very best can offer – music, created in the moment, that lasts.

Reviews of Parallax:

“The chemistry joining pianist Ivo Neame – with his Django Batesian rhythm-swaps hitched to classic jazz roots in Bill Evans and Chick Corea – to Jasper Hoiby’s double-bass muscle and the maniacally personal sound of drummer Anton Eger make Phronesis a wonderful live band. But though live recordings have represented them best, this single-day Abbey Road session gets very close.” THE GUARDIAN (UK)

“Brilliant synergy between the players, striking themes and dramatic and intricate ideas…a really exciting experience…” BBC RADIO 3, JAZZ LINE UP, CLAIRE MARTIN (UK)

“Their sixth album, recorded in the hallowed acoustics of Abbey Road, reveals a group that, 10 years on, is still growing and maturing, achieving the sort of deep rapport that other, more temporary groupings, can never replicate.” THE IRISH TIMES (EIRE)

“The album possesses enormous bite and an exhilarating in-the-room immediacy.” THE ARTS DESK (UK)

“The tension between abandon and control is pitch-perfect, reflecting a band in its prime…” THE FINANCIAL TIMES (UK)

“This is a classy affair, but it’s far removed from the insipid post-EST piano minimalism of Go Go Penguin and the like. While the band’s themes have that bright and breezy quality associated with contemporary Scandinavian piano music, there’s a refreshing vigour to the playing that always keeps things exciting.” THE QUIETUS (UK)

“Another exceptional Phronesis album, then? Oh yes.” THE JAZZ BREAKFAST (UK)

““Parallax” is an excellent album, with the trio continuing to astound at times, but it is perhaps becoming a little familiar. Too much of a good thing maybe? Who knows. Are they still making brilliant music? Are they still intergalactically interconnected in their interplay? Are they still full of energy and entertainment? Yes to all of the above.” UK VIBE (UK)

“They’ve been real favourites on the show right from the beginning…looking forward to hearing the whole album. I imagine it’s going to be as fiery as that!” JAMIE CULLUM BBC RADIO 2 (UK)

“…Parallax opens a new chapter full of musical riches from this most complete and compelling of bands.” JAZZWISE **** (UK)

“A genuinely scintillating display of intuitive ensemble interaction where composition, technique and emotional expression achieve a near-perfect, symbiotic balance.” RECORD COLLECTOR (UK)

“…[the] music is absolutely gripping…In truth, Phronesis are one of the most exciting jazz trios around…the sheer energy that’s generated from this album is simply phenomenal.” ALL ABOUT JAZZ (UK)

“Parallax is easily one of the stand-out jazz releases of the spring a filip for the UK jazz scene…” MARLBANK (UK)

“Phronesis have excellent rapport, continuously feeding off each other, whether live or on disc.  Parallax, recorded in a single day at London’s Abbey Road Studios, characterises the trio’s many features such as their rhythmic drive and a common melodic sense exemplified by the constant shifts of mood and texture.” BEBOP SPOKEN HERE (UK)

“HOW’S THIS for supreme confidence? One of the world’s foremost jazz trios recording an hour of explosive, original material in a single day at London’s renowned Abbey Road Studios… and ab-so-lute-ly nailing it! …having honed and established such a distinctive identity and direction over more than a decade of democratic collaboration, it’s remarkable how they raise the bar still higher with each new release.” AP REVIEWS (UK)

“There’s something soothingly addictive about this album. It gets under the skin without you noticing.” JAZZ STANDARD (UK)

“…a work of three powerful and talented musicians spewing forth their art. There is no room for star soloists here. This is a light, bright, sparkling work of jazz that will lift the day of anyone who is lucky enough to hear it.” THE AUDIOPHILE MAN (UK)

“The fascination with this group lies not so much in the ballads, but in the budding melody lines and eruptive rhythms. It is no coincidence that the drummer Anton Eger successful compositions frames the album. The lively end track, ‘Rabat’, combines oriental rhythms with the special kind of advanced power-jazz, which Phronesis have mastered to perfection. However it’s in the incorporation of  lyrical moments that the music really gets interesting. This represents a path that it might be interesting to hear the group pursue further.” POLITIKEN (DK)

“…..once again, in the best finest traditions of improvisational music  – maintained in the correct conventional form.” WESTZEIT (DE)

“The fact is: the small scale, bass-heavy composition and the further nine improvised tracks are masterpieces of patchwork jazz forming larger units from the fragments, reflecting a new world view, far away from any attempt at an overarching synthesis. So the name ‘Phronesis’ fits the band concept because they bring the atomised parts of the trio together according to the rules of contemporary art.” RONDO (DE

“Another extremely interesting release from Edition Records. Phronesis is a very experienced and harmonious team, and Parallax -in my opinion – is their best disk so far. These musicians could, retaining their existing strengths, climb to even higher levels.” JAZZPRESS (POL)

“We can confidently call Phronesis the most interesting jazz trio of our time. And in their new album Parallax there is the clear evidence of this…Phronesis is a trio that stands out every time with their super-passionate game and especially exciting compositions that really last. Parallax is therefore a new highlight in their already super rich oeuvre.” WRITTEN IN MUSIC (NED)

“This is an energetically charged, electrifying music…” JAZZ’HALO (BE)

“Phronesis is a jazz trio that qualifies for the Champions League. The Danish-Anglo-Norwegian trio, which in many ways has taken over where Esbjörn Svensson Trio slack, certainly has the qualities – both technically and artistically to conquer the world on stage and on record…Parallax is jazz music with speed – not a forced pace, covering over a lack of ability, but a controlled ferocity with an underlying network of terrific details.” GAFFA (DK)

“The trio has existed for 10 years. They are now one of the best examples in Europe that trio jazz can be both sophisticated and charming without taking a dallying and boring position. It is a very commendable record.” JAZZNYT (DK)

“A key reason for the success of this disc in being a fine record is the coherent and purposeful band sound which at the same time clearly emphasises each instrument.” VALON KUVIA (FI)

The British trio Phronesis has in recent years been one of the hottest on the British jazz scene…Therefore, one should also expect to get served a top-class recording when these three musicians put their mind to recording a new disc…” SALT PEANUTS (NO)

“Although the music has its own intricate and distinctive character – I think Phronesis is the most exciting trio since the Esbjörn Svensson Trio of around a decade ago…There is a drive and an intensity in their music that’s rare and… startlingly good.” TOR DE JAZZ BLOG (NO)

“Here, the trio truly excels in its uniquely diverse play through unceasing changes of rhythm, expression and dynamics, which alternate nu-jazz groovy, minimalist pieces, odd rhythms, loosing almost free-jazz or even ecstatic attacks or vice versa a coolly lyrical mood …A just wonderful album!” HIS VOICE (CZE)

“When Phronesis gave the album name as a term of geometry, hence astronomy and optics, certainly it was a clear intention. An imaginary line – views of three observers of the music world – again unmistakably intersect.” ROZHLAS (CZE)

“Once again, Edition Records lives up to its reputation for great European jazz with Parallax of Phronesis. From cover to cover, the musical texture is transparent and touches the listener’s heart.” REDCURTAIN MAGAZINE (TR)

‘Phronesis is at the world forefront of accomplished jazz piano trios, with high-calibre individuals combining perfectly on their originals in a decidedly Eurojazz style’. THE AUSTRALIAN (AUS)
“This is one of the best piano trios of our day releasing a new album. It’s some of the the best, most explosive jazz around and they still don’t stop turning heads.” NEXTBOP (ONLINE)

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