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ESBEN BRANDT

«I Wonder What You See»
GATEWAY MUSIC

Danish guitarist Esben Brandt delivers his third album with a surprising twist. His first two albums, «Silence and Sound», that featured Swedish reeds hero Fredrik Ljungkvist, and «Constants» (Gateway, 2013 and 2014), were instrumental ones that focused on his gifts as a composer and guitarist. On «I Wonder What You See» Brandt becomes  also a singer-songwriter,

Brandt still likes to work in the format of a quartet, and the current one is comprised of Copenhagen-based Catalan sax player Cesar Joaniquet, who played on «Constants», and fellow-Danish double bass player Jakob Roland and drummer Andreas Fryland. This quartet was recorded live in The Village Studios in Copenhagen. The nine songs sketch episodes from the life of Brandt as a young dad, telling about everyday experiences and observing the beautiful and the melancholic perspectives of the passing time.

Brandt likes his songs simple, calm, and melodic. He talks-sings gently a phrase, delivering his lyrics in a straight-ahead manner with not many attempts to play with his vocals, then follows with a brief guitar line or a solo, sometimes injecting a labyrinthine Middle-Eastern theme. The short, poetic texts articulate his great love and sensual fascination with his partner. The whispering-singing tone of Joaniquet intensifies the delicate, melodic spirit of «I Wonder What You See» and often takes the leading role. Roland and Fryland add tasteful, always elegant, rhythmic support. Only the last song «The Stone», offers a freer framework, open to improvisation.

Eyal Hareuveni

Esben Brandt (g, v), Cesar Joaniquet (s), Jakob Roland (b), Andreas Fryland (dr)

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