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ALEX JØNSSON

«Spy On Your Friends»
GATEWAY MUSIC

The sophomore solo album of young Danish guitarist Alex Jønsson is a logical continuation of his beautiful debut, «The Lost Moose» (Gateway Music, 2013). No moose this time but few sheep and goats, and again, an intimate trio setting, featuring close collaborators – double bass player Jens Mikkel Madsen and drummer Andreas Skamby. All three play in Norwegian vocalist Live Foyn Friis band and I Think You’re Awesome quintet, Madsen plays with Jønsson also in the Elliott trio. This friendly format gave the idea to the title of the album – spying as in getting inspiration from close musical associates.

All the pieces were written by Jønsson and almost all charged with a reserved, melodic core that often stresses a melancholic spirit. Jønsson knows how to articulate breezy, moving themes that patiently blossom into story-like ballads. Madsen, with impressive, assured solo parts, and Skamby, with a more economic approach, solidify the melodic vein and the emphatic interplay and both offer solid rhythmic basis. There are few exception to this cohesive, relaxed mode. Jønsson adds nice Spanish-tinged ornamentation in his solo in «Let. It.Go». But only on the angry «War is Peace», just in the middle of the album, Jønsson surprisingly leaves his melodic comfort zone. Here he opts for an urgent and intense distorted-grungy solo, while Madsen and Skamby build carefully the tension. Few more intense pieces like this one would have made this fine album more convincing.

Eyal Hareuveni

Alex Jønsson (g), Jens Mikkel Madsen (b), Andreas Skamby (dr)

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