Regular readers of this blog know how much I love and admire the Scandinavian quintet Atomic--to my ears they're one of the most exciting jazz bands on the planet. Tonight the band's remarkable Swedish trumpeter, Magnus Broo, leads an excellent ad hoc quartet with trombonist Jeb Bishop, bassist Nate McBride, and drummer Frank Rosaly over at the Hideout.
Last month I got to hear Broo play in Bergen, Norway, with IPA, a quartet with three killing Norwegian players--bassist Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, drummer Håkon Mjåset Johansen, and tenor saxophonist Atle Nymo (the latter two play together in a quintet called Motif with pianist Haavard Wiik). Last year, before Broo hooked up with the band, the other three musicians recorded a wonderful take on Don Cherry's Complete Communion album. IPA's new album, Lorena (Bolage), shares an affinity for Cherry's music as well as the work of Ornette Coleman, an energetic, bracing strain of free bop marked by rigorous improvised interplay in the front line.
Broo is one of Sweden's most skilled and flexible horn men, a guy rooted in the fundamentals of the American jazz tradition (he studied at the University of Texas during the 80s). His early work reveals a more straight-ahead sensibility, but since cofounding Atomic in 1999 and serving a stint in the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet--filling in for trombonist Bishop during the period he retired from music due to hearing issues--he's opened up his playing and become much more daring. On Lorena--which features six original pieces, including three by Broo--his bold, blustery playing seethes with a muscular melodocism, ripping through tricky, rhythmically complex themes (which set up provocative platforms for improvisation), then busting out with endless streams of lyrical elaboration.
Broo will be busy over the next four nights. Tomorrow he'll join excellent Dutch group Trio Braam de Joode Vatcher at Elastic and on Friday and Saturday he and pianist Wiik (who also plays in Atomic) will participate in the Vandermark 5 Special Edition at the Green Mill. Ken Vandermark has created new arrangements of some older V5 material and written some new pieces to accommodate these two excellent guests. The performances will be recorded for later release.
Armen Donelian Trio, Oasis (Sunnyside)
Kiko Dinucci e Bando AfroMacarrônico, Pastiche Nagô (Desmonta)
Clara Moreno, Miss Balanço (Far Out)
Daniel Levin Trio, Fuhuffah (Clean Feed)
White Hinterland, Luniculaire (Dead Oceans)