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På skive



«Fantasilaboratoriet» (fantasy laboratory in Danish) is the debut album of Danish trumpeter Niels Munk Petersen, taking him to his roots in the northern part of Denmark and inspired by the Scandinavian nature. Munk leads a quartet featuring the Aarhus-based pianist and long-term collaborator, Dan Hjort Jensen, and bass player Jens Mikkel Madsen, known from his project I Think You’re Awesome, plus Copenhagen-based drummer Jull Ludvigsen, from the hip hop-jazz band Athletic Progression.

Munk’s fantasy laboratory is described as «a creative space that explores the imagination», where musicians and listeners alike are invited into an «honest and loving musical universe». Munk, who is influenced by American trumpeter Christian Scott, locates «Fantasilaboratoriet» in the very center and on the periphery of jazz and wishes to use the qualities of jazz as a starting point for cultivating the imagination of the quartet’s musicians.

Munk’s compositions tell clear, lyrical and melodic stories and highlight his strong affinity with pianist Hjort Jensen. The center-piece, the 13-minutes «Beginning Laboratory Blues» demonstrates best Munk’s aesthetics. The blues is abstracted first into a Nordic reserved and melancholic melody. Munk’s spacious, ethereal sound captures the Nordic natural sceneries and is contrasted by the quiet storm of drummer Ludvigsen, and only mid-piece the quartet settles on a bluesy mode. The following «Song for July», «Dans Interlude» and «August» stress furthermore the lyrical and leisured backbone of «Fantasilaboratoriet». Estonian singer Karmen Rõivassepp guests on the last, beautiful and moving ballad «Alt hvad jeg har gjort» (everything I’ve done in Danish), and her feathery voice matches Munks’ caressing trumpet sound.

Eyal Hareuveni    

Niels Munk (tp, flh), Jens Mikkel Madsen (b, v), Jonathan Jull Ludvigsen (dr), Dan Hjorth (p), Karmen Rõivassepp (v)

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