What a beautiful album cover! Bagland is the serene and haunting debut album from Danish trumpeter and composer Jakob Sørensen. It’s grounded in his Scandinavian roots (the title means support from back home) yet it transcends the dark melancholy of that genre with warm elegant melodies and effortless ensemble playing. Just as Babette’s sumptuous feast triumphed over the bleak landscape and even bleaker lives of her guests in Babette’s Feast (enlightening them physically and emotionally), so Jakob’s clear, supple and joyous tone lends a golden light to this windswept terrain, making it a very inviting place to spend some time.
All the compositions are by Jakob. They are very striking, with a gentle lilt that makes them slip by effortlessly, dreamily – they are so polished and deceptively simple – and showcase Jakob’s flawless command of all registers. A feeling of calmness and contentedness is a hallmark of the Scandinavian sound. And I’d add lyricism, amply demonstrated in the soaring trumpet, the songlike guitar which floats, tinkly percussive effects like wind in the rigging of a sailing boat. There are so many treats on this album, the melodies prompt so many images – the pleasure of riding a horse along the shore, or being wrapped in a fur coat. Particularly attractive is the guitar of Alex Jønsson (other albums here and here) whose expressiveness and delicacy are the perfect foil to Jakob’s trumpet.
Well worth a listen – as is just about everything out of Aarhus Academy!
Jakob Sørensen – trumpet
Alex Jønsson – guitar
Mathias Jæger – piano
Frederik Sakham – doublebass
Frej Lesner – drums
Nellie Parsager Jensen – Clarinet
Sofie Kirk Østergaard – Clarinet
Mary James 16 February 2015