The music of Danish guitarist Torben Waldorff was often described as highly interactive, lyrical with a strong sense of melody, feeding on a strong band interplay. «Holiday on Fire», Waldorff fourth album for the New York-based ArtistShare label and his sixth solo album, deepens this lyrical-melodic vein. Waldorff new seven compositions also cement the organic-interactive feel of his music.
Waldorff is accompanied by Swedish partner, pianist Maggi Olin, who has played, arranged and co-produced all of Waldorff albums, including this one; long-standing collaborator of Olin, Canadian trumpeter Ingrid Jensen, who co-produced the album, and the American rhythm section of bass player Drew Gress and drummer Johnathan Blake. The quintet premiered the new compositions on two days at the Smalls Jazz club in New York before recording them.
The opening piece, «Thyst Intro», sets the lyrical atmosphere. The voices of Waldorff guitar, Olin Fender Rhodes and Jensen blend into a fragile, gentle entity, echoing, extending and multiplying each other. This compositional strategy is expanded on other pieces, stressing the highly emphatic interplay of the frontline of Waldorff, Olin and Jensen. All three color the dramatic narrative with with matching ideas, and all enjoying the solid support of Gress and Blake. «Combust» and «Ironic Tonic» suggest a stronger rhythmic interplay. On both compositions Olin’s Fender Rhodes charges Waldorff commanding, breezy lines with a cosmic-fusion vibe.
The beautiful ballad «Our Sounds of Love (and Charle’s, and Duke’s)», obviously referencing Mingus «Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love», is the most impressive composition here. It links wisely Waldorff compositional ideas to the great, seminal legacy of Ellington and Mingus, but offers a new, sober yet very emotional reading of this great legacy, one that offers enough room to the five musicians to contribute their personal perspectives.
Torben Waldorff (g), Ingrid Jensen (tp), Maggi Olin (p, Fender Rhodes), Drew Gress (b), Johnathan Blake (dr)