The debut album of Danish double bass player Casper Nyvang Rask offers his original music for a unique ensemble – 5 reeds, 2 double bass players and 2 drummers, featuring crème de la crème of the vibrant Copenhagen jazz scene, including Lars Greve, Laura Toxværd, Henrik Pultz Melbye and Ole Mofjell. Rask wrote the music with these specific musicians in his mind. He intensifies and challenges the acoustic envelope with various midi synths sounds.
The compositions are informed – in one way or another – by the recent death of his father. «Slow Evolution Ensemble» is only 32-minutes long but has a strong thematic structure, a loose, emotional story of processing the chaotic and often confusing emotions about the departure of a loved one.
The strong voices of these ensemble explore the possible outlines of the acoustic interplay on the brief and melancholic «Chaffinch» – in its two versions «Goodbye Forever» and «Goodbye», written as farewells to his father. The ensemble explodes on «Alan Silva, zum Beispie», a tribute to the legendary bass and synthesizer player Alan Silva, a kind of father figure to any aspiring double bass player who wishes to play free jazz. On this piece the ensemble sounds as celebrating the fruitful life of Silva and his lasting impression on all the ensemble musicians.
The following, lyrical «Threeleggeddog» and the more dramatic «Marzahn» embody the painful realization that a significant era has ended and the sense of loneliness that it brings. The last and longest piece, the 15-minutes «Slow Evolution In N0871», is inspired by Casper’s father’s stroke and brain damage, as N0871 was the hospital room he was in when he became brain damaged, This pieces develops slowly and patiently, beginning as a minimalist, noisy soundscape led by the dark, deep-toned colors of Rask and second double bass player, Roberto Bordiga, and organically shaped as a powerful cry of the whole ensemble, reflecting the excruciating soul searching of Rask has experienced lately.
Lars Greve (s), Laura Toxværd (s), Francesco Bigoni (s, cl), Henrik Pultz Melbye (s, cl), Mads Egetoft (s), Bjørn Heebøl (dr), Ole Mofjell (dr), Roberto Bordiga (b), Casper Nyvang Rask (b, midi keys)