Artist/ Band: Anders Koppel
Title: Everything Is Subject To Change
Label: Cowbell Music
Year of Release: 2012
Offical Artist/ Band Link
- I just reviewed another older album by Anders called ‘Aftenlandet & Regnbuefuglen’ that will tell you some details about the composer. This is a new recording with his son Benjamin Koppel playing saxes, along with Kenny Werner on piano and Fender Rhodes, and Jacob Andersen on drums and various percussion. The sound is almost as exotic as the early album but more scaled down with lots of nice breathing room. It’s not all sparse, but alternates with upbeat tropical jazz infected pieces that sometimes tease and taunt with where they are going. Anders stays on Hammond organ throughout this time. And with just one instrument each between father and son, they both manage to create multiple pallets of unique color combinations, which in turn leads to neat little gems that it appears the Koppel’s are master at. I once again am overjoyed at a recording with Anders. Most of the songs seem improvised but with a crystal ball as to what precisely one should do to make it perfect in creation. It may sound improvised but the music is composed. That’s a nice ability, to make it sound that loose, yet be so controlled behind the curtain in the studio.
I found ’Everything is Subject to Change’ constantly catching me off guard with several surprises in between the more introspective pieces. The quick change of pace is what makes this just as charming as ‘Aftenlandet & Regnbuefuglen’. Yes, it’s done with way less instruments, but there isn’t anything lacking or with a sense of void here. If you feel any slumber at any time, you’ll be sure to be nudged out of that quickly. The haunting atmosphere is created effortlessly time and again by experienced musical composition know how. I’ve yet to find anyone else who is able to produce music that is just like this infusion of jazz, classical, exotic, soundtrack instrumental ambrosia with a combination of elegantly created , and sometimes conflicting winter and summer. The music is able to make you feel the chill, and at the same time sense the warmth. I can hear slight carnival playfulness in Anders’ organ in songs like “Lost City Arts” (track 6) yet also some slightly masked gospel influences. Kenny’s piano work is simply great usually giving twinkling ornamentation to the song at hand. Benjamin’s sax playing is ultimately reserved, being placed at the most tasteful spots. The playing is impeccable as expected from each person. Jacob sometimes is more a ghost with his percussion. You get fooled very quickly with this music. You can think it is all simple then it has passed you by and you failed to pick up all the parts that were being presented. I loved listening to this multiple times to gain things I missed the previous listen.
It’s hard to give a favorite tune but ‘Poor Shostakovich’ (track 9) attracts me as it has a similar approach as some of Jan Garbarek’s more somber haunting world style. Lonely sax, haunted carnival, desolate half moon night in the desert, just where is this music in your head? And it’s a nice 7 ½ minutes long. The ending song lasts exactly the same time. ‘The Man Who Looked For Peace’. The dominating atmosphere of the CD is fully utilized here. Lots of freeform intro, with shakers, semi-cloaked percussion, sleepy and precise sax , spacey almost cathedral organ, and finally a beautiful set of Fender Rhodes chords bring in the first theme. You can hear how happily Anders’ organ blends with Kenny’s piano. You won’t realize it until it’s almost over, but the entire recording is without official bass. It’s Anders who anchors the music but gives it this floating barge effect and artful bottom end of sound when needed. The drummer also does his part on the low end rhythm and pulse in specific spots. I’d say these four musicians are a perfect match for this CD. I can’t wait to hear another recording. Recommended!!
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on May 7th, 2012
- 01. Everything Is Subject to Change 5:47
- 02. The Philosophy of Furniture 5:22
- 03. Bowery Poetry Club 3:49
- 04. Messiaen & the Asparagus Chase 2:54
- 05. What Seas, What Shores 8:27
- 06. Lost City Arts 4:55
- 07. Waiting Room 5:58
- 08. Conversation Interrupted 3:18
- 09. Poor Shostakovich 7:27
- 10. The Man Who Looked for Peace 7:25
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