Swedish, Milan-based sax player David Bennet focuses on his debut album as a leader on the tension between structure and noted music and freedom and improvisation. «Does four solid walls provide us with the security and stability we need to be able to live freely without much thought (if this is some kind of ideal for a carefree but meaningful life)», he asks. «Or are they standing in our way, big gray obstacles who binds us to ideals and routines?»
Bennet attempts to answer this existential dilemma with his own ironically-titled «Miljonärskvarteret» (millionaire quartet), featuring experiences and resourceful fellow-Swedish musicians, trumpeter Niklas Barnö, double bass player William Bromander and drummer Andreas Pettersson. The album was recorded in Gothenburg, and Bennet adds that he hopes that this compositions are «sufficiently permissive and flexible for my fellow musicians to treat in a delightfully disrespectful way while still keeping a bit of my designed structure».
Bennet’s compositions do call for a joyful disrespect. Most of his compositions, like the opening «Mellansysterns Magi», «Flamingon Dansar» and «Tovas Turnaround» highlight the formative influence of Ornette Coleman’s classic quartet, with the tight and playful frontline of Bennet and Barnö and the percolating, hard-swinging rhythmic patterns of Bromander and Pettersson. The quartet’s dynamics has the same kind of telepathic flow, even when it slows down on the emotional ballads as «Främmande Mark» and «Betongrullgardin». These ballads stresses the qualities Bennet as a sensitive soloist. But already on these pieces and more on the other pieces, this quartet plays as if it charged with hyper-energetic steroids that aim to push the envelope. Barnö and Bromander with their array of extended breathing and bowing techniques shine on these pieces. Then, and on pieces as «Pumpagubben» and «Mors Mentalitet», the whole quartet improvises collectively and asks to free their conception of free jazz from the past glorious legacy dive into, new free-improvised options.
Bennet calls this kind of electrifying brew «luminous free jazz!». He is totally right.
David Bennet (as), Niklas Barnö (tp), William Bromander (b), Andreas Pettersson (dr)