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May 2005

Anders Aarum Trio
Absence in Mind
Jazzaway

Pianist Anders Aarum, bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Thomas Stronen (him again) create a beautiful quiet storm on Absence in Mind (Jazzaway). Don't start thinking this is an Anita Baker record: The music is soft but intense, like a gentle shower that precludes an outright storm-but the trio never gives in to thunder. The title Absence in Mind should give you an idea of what this band is about. (Hint: Think of a crusty jazz bromide.)

"Viveza Criolla" has strange buzzing sounds from the bass, which sounds like paper is jammed under the strings. "Avanti No. 1" starts as a quirky meditation before falling off the shelf. But my favorite tracks are "Donkey Shot," "Around the Kernal," "Mon Cherry" and "Day-dream," which have more a Brad Mehldau/Keith Jarrett/Tord Gustavsen feel and demonstrate why Aarum and his group are ones to watch.

Originally published in May 2005
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