I Just Came From The Moon actually comes from Aarhus, a Danish hotbed for many promising young musicians and bands, but this quintet do aims for faraway dreamy sceneries, as the the album cover, made by local artist Kasper Knudsen Muusholm, suggests. This quintet already won the national Danish Young Jazz competition, held in May 2016, praised for its fragile sincerity, strong personalities and organic, lyrical sound universe.
«Hoax», the quintet debut album was recorded after an intense period of touring all over Denmark and justifies the competition praises. I Came From The Moon sound like a working group that has developed its own, unique sound. The touring period solidified the quintet emphatic interplay that embraces and abstracts the compositions of leader, bass player Frederik Hagner. Hagner’s compositions offer a strong melodic, lyrical core but their architecture colors this emotional vein with darker, nuanced shades.
The opening piece, «Med Rumraket Til Rundhøj», sketches I Came From The Moon sonic territory. Trumpeter Jonas Scheffler introduces the reserved and dreamy, often melancholic theme, while guitarist Nikolaj Bugge charges it with restless urgency and Hagner balances this commotion with his commanding, solid playing. Together they suggest a layered, complex cinematic narrative that moves organically between the gentle and fragile pole to a powerful and intense one. The quintet offers more layered, story-like architectures on other pieces as «Wonderful Ryan» and «Goodnight Kerberos» where Scheffler melodic motifs are mirrored and expanded by sax player Nis Hellerøe Myrtue, guitarist Bugge and Hagner himself, all stressing the strong emotional impact.
The compositions on the other side of «Hoax» dare more. «Ugler I Mosen» with it’s driving rhythmic patterns, beginning with a fierce, funky attack by by guitarist Bugge and drummer Tobias Andreassen but later morphs into more open and breezy vehicle for all musicians improvisations; «Februar» builds a mysterious tension and the brief, last «Weeping Hedgehog» suddenly brings a surprising muscular mode of playing.
My humble suggestion – let I Came From The Moon will settle permanently on Earth and produce more beautiful albums.
Jonas Scheffler (tp), Nis Hellerøe Myrtue (ts), Nikolaj Bugge (g), Tobias Andreassen (dr), Frederik Hagner (b)