About twenty years ago American trumpeter Steven Bernstein founded his Sex Mob band as an outfit with a great mission. Bernstein was tired with old jazz standards and wanted to make his band music relevant to a younger generation, playing sensual, funny and sexy music, fit for dancing halls, as jazz was in its formative days. The Danish, Aarhus-based trio Admiral Awesome adopts a similar approach. Like Sex Mob, the trio draws inspiration from numerous corners of the jazz history and mix it all together in one big and explosive cocktail, named by the trio as «Kapowjazz!» – a humorous, swinging, rebellious, purely from the heart, sentimental music that delivers the promise of this album title.
The trio second album is a live double LP featuring rising Finnish sax hero Mikko Innanen (after hosting Swedish sax hero Fredrik Ljungkvist on its self-titled debut on 2012) and comes with an extravagant cover inspired by vintage superhero comic books. The trio fine humor is already reflected in the first piece, titled «Ali Bebop og de fyrretyve røvere» (“Ali Bebop and the Forty Thieves»), but the quartet is also gifted with healthy doses of fresh, energetic musicianship and love of playful, passionate interplay. The game-like, muscular sax duels of Innanen – on alto and baritone saxes – and the trio’s Jacob Danielsen on tenor sax and bass clarinet – enjoy the hard driving rhythm section of double bass player Thomas Sejthen and drummer Christian Windfeld. The loose arrangements offer enough chances for inventive solo contributions and Windfeld solo introduction to «Cast Up» is a highly inventive one.
Admiral Awesome and Innanen navigate freely in the different, eclectic incarnations of jazz, revisiting Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics, following American sax hero Ellery Eskelin non-linear narratives (on «Eskelin, Eskelin»), exploring tense interplay on the thriller-like sountrack «Tallinna», an introspective mode on the «Veden Pinnan Alla», preparing for an insomniac night on «Untitled Børnesang» («Untitled Nursery Rhyme») or savoring the sweet romanticism of the theme of «Chanson l’Amour de la Suede». The quartet organically move between ‘in’, tight and swinging modes, and wild ‘out’ eruptions. As if the quartet draw super-powers from the comic hero Admiral Awesome and his associates, as depicted on the album sleeve, transforming these positive energies into tearing down the walls between different schools and genres, eventually channelling these powers for a joyful cocktail of songs, buzzing with infectious fun and excitement.
Jacob Danielsen (ts, bcl), Mikko Innanen (as, bs), Thomas Sejthen (b), Christian Windfeld (dr), Bo Jakobsen (as «Is That It?»)