When Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski and Danish alto sax player Sven Dam Meinild formed the quartet Ocean Fanfare in 2012 they had no agenda other than to «explore the interaction between the rock solid rhythm section and abstract and evocative melodies» without leaving the jazz ocean behind. The debut album of the quartet, «Imagine Sound, Imagine Silence» (Barefoot Records, 2014), realized beautifully this mission.
Four years later Dąbrowski and Meinild return with a new incarnation of Ocean Fanfare. Danish drummer Peter Bruun replaces American Tyshawn Sorey while Richard Andersson still plays the double bass. And Ocean Fanfare has now a political-environmental-anti capitalist agenda, inspired by the book of American Anthropologist Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing (who co-directs Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene), «The Mushroom at the End of the World – On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins» (Princeton University Press, 207).
«First Nature» is the first part in a trilogy of albums, planned to be completed in 2021 and will investigate later on the employment of effect pedals, programming, graphic scores, spontaneous composition as well as the abstraction of economic theory into compositional themes. «First Nature» focuses on ecological relations and its titles pay tribute to the importance of biodiversity. It highlighting a delicate balance between acoustic, chamber interplay and free jazz spirit and between fragile lyricism and sheer melancholia.
Dąbrowski’s «We Can’t Stop Now» and «The Dialogues» demonstrates the subtle, elusive aesthetics of Ocean Fanfare. It moves back and forth between raw, urgent drive and contemplative, conversational interplay between Dąbrowski and Meinild. Meinild’s «Hjemmefødsel» and Dąbrowski’s «Importance of Madness» and «Cordovan» emphasizes the telepathic manners sketch by both to suggest lyrical yet playful statements, propelled by the always imaginative rhythmic work of Brunn and Andersson. On Meinild’s «Klangtræ» both Dąbrowski and Meinild offer the most dramatic, melancholic cry of this album, but Dąbrowski’s following «You Don’t Look Very Cheerful» sounds as an answer to this sad cry and calls for an action. Meinild’s mysterious and suggestive «Matsutake» (the super expensive mushroom that became the theme of Tsing’s book) concludes this impressive, beautiful and inspiring album.
Sven Dam Meinild (as), Tomasz Dąbrowski (tp), Richard Andersson (b), Peter Bruun (dr)