Morten Haxholm Quartet: Equilibrium

Equilibrium is an impressive debut album you won’t want to miss. Danish bass player Morten Christian Haxholm is a Copenhagen-based artist who studies in the prestigious soloist line at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. His quartet, which pulls some of the best in New York jazz, performs a collection of post bop originals that are sure to whet your jazz listening appetite.

Lovely renditions of jazz standards ’Night and Day’ by Cole Porter and ’Out of Nowhere’ by Johnny Green sit among six original compositions by Haxholm. Haxholm’s compositional craft is stunning. He employs complex, interchanging odd meters to express beautiful melodies so sublime that the music develops into a coherence that eludes the listener’s recollection of its very complexity. It’s artistic genius, truly wonderful.

Praise for the ability to incorporate complexity into a masterful whole belongs as much to the composer as the rest of the quartet in performance. Rhythmic and melodic challenges are arranged and interpreted by Frederick Menzies (tenor saxophone) and Jonathan Kreisberg (guitar) in thematically brilliant – and at times pretty rocking – solo lines, while Ari Hoenig (drums) provides tasteful rhythmic spices without which the music would stand incomplete. It’s impossible for me to praise their collective musicianship enough!

To those who, like myself, love odd meters: get this album! It’s easily one of the best jazz albums I’ve heard all year.

Album Overview

’Equilibrium’ is the debut album of Danish bass player Morten Christian Haxholm. Currently residing in Copenhagen, Haxholm graduated with a master’s degree from the Carl Nielsen Academy in 2009 and now studies at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory in Copenhagen. Haxholm has played with many great musicians and singers from around the world and with him on his debut album are three great jazz musicians: Americans Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and Ari Hoenig on drums as well as Frederick Menzies on saxophone. From New York City, Jonathan Kreisberg has played guitar and jazz from an early age, winning a scholarship at the University of Miami and going on to tour with renowned players such as Joe Henderson, Michael Brecker and Red Rodney. A highly accomplished drummer, Ari Hoenig has performed with people such as Jean-Michel Pilc, Kenny Werner and Herbie Hancock. Saxophonist Frederick Menzies is a resident of Copenhagen and was the winner of Young Jazz 2006. The album was recorded in 2012 in the famous ’Systems Two Studio’ in Brooklyn, New York and features compositions by Haxholm as well as the standards ’Night and Day’ by Cole Porter and ’Out of Nowhere’ by Johnny Green. The compositions are strong, well-written and refreshing with excellent playing by the young quartet, augmenting each other’s styles perfectly. The music ranges between easy listening and more daring compositions with rhythms of high complexity but it never fails to hit the spot.

Artists

Morten Christian Haxholm Jensen, doublebass

Morten Christians Haxholm Jensen is a danish doublebass player, currently residing in Copenhagen. Morten Christian is an active composer, teacher and bassplayer. He has played with an impressive amount of danish and international jazz musicians: Jesper Løvdal, Mads La Cour, Jakob Høyer, Anders Mogensen, Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard, Carl Winther, Niclas Campagnol…

www.mortenchristian.dk/#/

Joanthan Kreisberg, guitar

Born in New York City, guitarist and composer Jonathan Kreisberg has fond memories of a childhood steeped in music. “I was lucky to grow up in a household that had a great and wide-ranging record collection,” he recalls, “including Coltrane’s My Favorite Things, John Williams playing the ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ and Cream’s Disraeli Gears.”

jonathankreisberg.com

Ari Hoenig, drums

Currently Ari leads three groups that play his original music.  Besides the Ari Hoenig Quartet and “Punk Bop,” Ari also leads the Ari Hoenig Trio, with Jonathan Kreisberg or Gilad Hekselman covering guitar duties and Matt Penman or Orlando plucking on the bass. He also co-leads a variety of projects, including Pilc, Moutin, Hoenig (“the three headed monster”), Oscillations Quartet and various duo’s with Chris Potter, Edmar Casteneda or Dan Weiss.

Fredrick Menzies, sax

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