The second album of Danish, Aarhus-based trumpet player Jakob Sørensen as the bandleader of the quintet Bagland is a natural expansion of this group self-titled debut. And as on Bagland debut, the evocative cover of «Nomad», a 10” vinyl EP (also available on digital platforms). suggests the atmosphere of the music. This time Sørensen chose the paintin of the Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov, «The exhausted pilgrim’s tracks over the deep snow» (from the series Romantic Landscapes with Missing Parts that was executed in the winter of 2001-2002 in Stockholm ). This cover reference the open and sometimes deserted Nordic landscape, a lasting inspiration for Sørensen.
Bagland features Sørensen close associates from the vibrant Aarhus scene. Guitarist Alex Jønsson played with him in the trio Elliott, and pianist Mathias Jæger and drummer Frej Lesner played with him in the ELM trio. Double bass player Frederik Sakham comprises the quintet. Sørensen compositions offer variations on the Nordic school of ECM sound – melodic and lyrical, touched by reserved but fragile melancholy, especially the opening piece, “Eick”. But Sørensen original ideas and his highly personal voice charge the following title-piece in power and urgency, rarely found in Nordic ECM releases .
Sørensen is also a gifted storyteller. He sketches detailed and rich emotional narratives that carry the listener into mysterious scenes and sceneries. His warm and round tone and his assured leadership stress the clear story lines. The emphatic interplay of Bagland quintet enriches the story threads and deepens the emotional impact. This kind of balanced interplay transforms «Brave Men» and «The Mountain That Disappeared» into a complex, cinematic stories, both highlight the subtle guitar work of Jønsson and the economic, dramatic piano playing of Jæger.
«Nomad» is full of rare beauty.
Jakob Sørensen (tp), Alex Jønsson (g), Mathias Jæger (p), Frederik Sakham (b), Andreas Skamby (dr)