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Bruno Raberg: Orbis

Bruno Raberg is a Swedish bassist who has worked with a wide range of musicians over the years. He cites his native folk music as a primary source of inspiration, but I can’t hear the connection. I’m a pretty big fan of Scandinavian music, but I have never heard the polyrhythms that Raberg cites; most of the dance music has a rhythm that’s akin to the Scottish strathspey, and quite unlike anything African or American. At the moment, of course, a lot of Scandinavian jazzers, as well as traditional groups like Frifot, are constructing bridges convincingly. What Orbis does sound like is acoustic jazz-rock with a strong hint of Coltrane-influenced modality. In fact, on “Forest Star,” the way that the theme changes from major to minor and back is reminiscent of Indian classical music. The writing is tuneful, the arrangements interesting and the group interacts well. Ole Mathisen is Norwegian but sounds a lot like many post-Coltrane tenor/soprano players. Tim Ray is an effective pianist with an attractive touch, and Raberg and drummer Bob Moses combine for a strong, seamless rhythm team. The music is very well played and nice enough, but not extremely adventurous.

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