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Jakob Bro: December Song

December Song is the final installment of a remarkable trilogy that began with Balladeering in 2009 and continued with Time in 2011. Jakob Bro is a visionary Danish guitarist with unerring taste in sidemen. For all three albums he chose Lee Konitz and Bill Frisell. December Song also has pianist Craig Taborn and bassist Thomas Morgan.

Bro conceives spare, deceptively simple song forms. Melodies blossom patiently. He creates the conditions for rapt, intense ensemble atmospheres in which strong individual voices are given exceptional freedom, yet sound selfless within Bro’s sonic world. The opening track, “Laxness,” conjures a mood that is never broken but is deeply nuanced over the course of the album. Bro, with quietly incisive lines in the left channel, and Frisell, with bell tones in the right, create a hovering guitar choir. Konitz’s alto saxophone floats in their midst. Taborn decorates the open spaces selectively. Morgan’s bass is the moving floor.

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