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På skive



Ephemeris is a New York-based free improvising quartet featuring Danish-born reeds player Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen and double bass player-partner in life Tom Blancarte (they collaborated before in the genre-bending bands Sweet Banditry, Tactical Maybe and The Home Of Easy Credit), pianist Carol Liebowitz and drummer John Bernard Wagner (who played with Blancarte in Adam Caine Trio). This quartet has been working occasionally since 2010 but its debut, self-titled album was recorded only last year at the Bunker Studio in Brooklyn in March 2023.

The five pieces of Ephemeris opt for slow-cooking, collective dynamics of free improvisation while Jensen, Liebowitz. Blancarte and Wagner explore alternating sonic regions and rely on their already-established deep rapport. The quartet acts as a well-coordinated solar system, as the astronomical references of the pieces’ titles suggest. The 17-minute opening piece «Gnomon» introduces a strong spiritual vibe to Jensen, on alto sax and flute, and Liebowitz’s close, contemplative and conversational interplay or Liebowitz, Blancarte and Wagner’s inventive and nuanced rhythmic layers, often flirting with cathartic climaxes.

The following pieces, «The First Dragon» and «Almagest of Ptolemy», solidify the spiritual veins and suggest powerful variations of the lyrical, meditative-like free improvisations. Jensen and Blancarte explore their extended breathing and bowing techniques on the restless and open-ended «Theia». This fine album concludes with another spiritual piece, «The Book of Fixed Stars», highlighting the four strong individual voices and the inspired, deep listening and meditative dynamics of the quartet.

Eyal Hareuveni

Louise Dam Eckardt Jensen (alto, saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute), Carol Liebowitz (piano), Tom Blancarte (double bass), John Bernard Wagner (drums)