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Nils Petter Molvær - Baboon Moon CD (album) cover


Nils Petter Molvær

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars Ethereal smoky jazz

It's funny how some things pass you by - for instance, I had no idea that one of my favourite modern jazz trumpet players was featured here on PA. Just goes to show how big of a place this is. Here the other day - I googled this album and found a link to our website, and suddenly the year 2011 just got a tad sweeter. Had I known this, I'd most likely have included Baboon Moon in my list of the year, but then again I'm constantly bumping into last year releases that just blow me out of the water.

It's not like this is a wild affair - and saying things like being blown out of the water in regards to this particular album, is perhaps a bit far fetched. This is ethereal jazz - oozing out over hilltops and misty mornings. The trumpet playing is like a melodic dog with a soar throat - moaning the loss of its owner. The closest thing to Molvær's playing is without a doubt Miles Davis, and the way he wielded his instrument in the more quiet and mellow stretches of his career. Another current player who has built his sound up on Miles' chill out phase is Danish trumpet player Palle Mikkelborg, who incidentally also wrote the material for one of Miles' last efforts. The reason I point this out is the fact that both Molvær and Mikkelborg, whilst utilizing a lot of the master's brush strokes, - still manage to dish out an altogether different sounding atmosphere. Our Norwegian friend here is much like a jazz player sniffing around in other people's bushes, trying to figure out what next to infuse into the mix. "Damn that's a nice branch there!"

Baboon Moon flies around in different zones - alternating between the rare post-rock sections with wild drumming and KAPOW slapstick bass lines that are fat as mud, - and the more frequent lofty esoteric bits, where things dissolve into these misty emanations - sounding like wet paint running down the walls like sleepy caterpillars.

I don't necessarily think this album is Molvær's best, but it still ranks as one of the finest he has produced in a long while. My fave is still his debut, where his style relied more on psychedelic back-drafts, but then again that probably says more about my penchant for saucy psychedelics than anything else.

If you want music that speaks about the beauty of mountain peaks and early morning dew laying to rest on empty fields, or want something that takes what Miles was trying to do in times of contemplative moods and pensive outbursts, then you should definitely check out Baboon Moon. This album is like being wrapped in warm wet linen, whilst watching the patterns of a thousand cigarettes burn out - sending up grey spiralling smoke against a giant stoic rock face.

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Posted Friday, March 2, 2012 | Review Permalink

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