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Hilmar Jensson: Tyft

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Hilmar Jensson and his bandmates on Tyft have been throwing it down together since their school days. The Icelandic guitarist met drummer Jim Black and saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo over a decade ago. Jensson and Black were students at Berklee and D’Angelo worked nearby as head of the jazz department at a nearby Tower Records. Though they’ve run in the same musical circles for over a decade, they have waited until now to record together for the first time.

Of course, several years and bands later, they’ve had the opportunity to pick up a few new tricks. Jensson and colleagues expand the group’s sound with the steady use of laptop-generated noise. Jensson isn’t much of a chordal player, so its not a bad idea. Where lots of bands use this sort of thing for filler or background, Jensson successfully integrates the laptop sounds into the group sound-as a rhythm foil for Black’s brawny (sometimes comically so) drumming or even as the primary voice here and there. That the laptop works out so well tends to point out the recording’s major failing, however.

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