Two years after Swedish, Stockholm-based drummer-percussionist-composer Dennis Egberth released the first album of his quintet, Dennis Egberths första (Dennis Egberth’s first) he returns with the aptly-titled Dennis Egberths nästa (Dennis Egberth’s next), recorded at Atlantis Studio in Stockholm in July 2021. His quintet features the same lineup – violinist Katt Hernandez, clarinetist Isak Hedtjärn, pianist-keyboard player Johan Graden and double bass player Vilhelm Bromander, but his sonic vision is more ambitious.
The in-demand and versatile Egberth is known for crafting intricate, driven and innovative beats with alternative bands like The Hanged Man and the El Perro del Mar project; in his oval, post-Captain Beefheart rhythms that construct the backbone of the double bass player Joe Williamson-initiated project Receptacles; in the deconstructed yet hard-swinging acoustic mysteries of his quartet with Oscar Carls, Williamson and Niclas Fite; or in the solo projects where he creates vibrating soundscapes with the drum set, gongs, bowls and various percussion.
Egberth brings all these qualities to his quintet and creates an exciting and unpredictable journey in a musical universe of his own. Dennis Egberths nästa highlights his unique compositional thinking and expression that mixes old and new, explores subtle timbres and textures, and suggests a deep knowledge of early, chamber and spiritual jazz legacies and Nordic folk music. The nine pieces focus on concise themes, motifs and moods, leaving space for austere but engaging improvisations, delivered with natural ease and all have an exquisite sense of form.
You can hear echoes of Jimmy Giuffre’s classic trio; meet sweet Art Tatum meets Duke Ellington melody contrasted with an atonal texture; be surprised by Hernandez’s rare control of microtonal intervals (she was a disciple of Joe Maneri); learn how she and Hedtjärn employ their extended techniques for rhythmic games; be unsettled by the collective, intense, dissonant and with non-metric pulse improvisations; enjoy the heartfelt humor of «Alexa och Siri» and conclude this arresting journey with the lyrical swinging groove of «Linje 19», the line transports Greater Stocholmresidents from Hässelby Strand to Hagsätra. Never knowing what will be the next surprise of this playful and risk-taking quintet, but always anticipating it.
Katt Hernandez (vio), Isak Hedtjärn (cl), Johan Graden (p, add. keys, bongos), Vilhelm Bromander (b, gongs), Dennis Egberth (dr, perc, org)