Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Jakob Bro: Gefion

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

The 37-year-old Danish guitarist and composer Jakob Bro, whose sideman credits include drummer Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band and Tomasz Stanko’s Dark Eyes Quintet, deals almost exclusively with the sort of twinkling, reflective, melancholic music that descends ultimately from midcentury chamber jazz and directly from Motian’s trio with guitarist Bill Frisell and saxophonist Joe Lovano. Over the past 12 years, he’s become a champion of rubato wistfulness, quietly releasing stunning albums through his own Loveland imprint, some featuring startlingly high-profile personnel. (2009’s Balladeering, for instance, boasts Motian, Frisell, Lee Konitz and Ben Street.) Now Bro has recorded as a bandleader for ECM, where his Nordic-noir surfaces fit like a glove.

Gefion is an important album, not because it’s the best thing Bro has ever done but because the label’s ardent following and conglomerate-sized distribution will hopefully expand his base. Aesthetically this trio session with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Jon Christensen is business as usual. Shards of folkish melody reveal themselves slowly as the rhythm section swirls around and underneath-Morgan inserting his own LaFaro-worthy asides and occasionally keeping time, Christensen dusting the floor à la Motian.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published