Tag Archives: Jakob Sørensen

Album review: Jakob Sørensen: Bagland

BaglandWhat 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

Album review: Elliott: Girls with Radical Haircuts – released July 2013

Standing on the shoulders of giants. Isaac Newton sums it up so neatly. None of us creates anything without building on the legacy of those who have gone before us. But that’s how we can reach for the stars, almost touch them, using the achievements of great musicians. The young Danish band, Elliott, have just released their debut album Girls with Radical Haircuts, and in their press release they pay homage to the one hundred year old catalogue of recorded compositions that have enriched our lives. They want to stand on those shoulders. Elliott comprises Alex Jønsson, guitar, Jens Mikkel Madsen, double bass and Jakob Sørensen, trumpet. They share the 8 original compositions, all working with each other to create a very distinctive and haunting sound. All play with other bands. Alex, in particular, plays with Foyn Trio which is led by the striking vocalist Live Foyn Friis whose pretty, quirky, catchy vocals are worth exploring.

So what can we see and hear with this particular trio, Elliott? An unusual combination of instruments – trumpet, guitar and double bass – creating a cool, consistent and spacious chamber sound, inspired by their native land, with beautiful compositions that hang around in your head. Jakob Sørensen’s delicately clear trumpet tone reminds me of Ron Horton when he played with Ben Allison on Midnight Cowboy from Cowboy Justice – a trumpet which is languid yet brittle, meandering gently through a vast American landscape. In Girls we have a more intimate landscape, from the dreamy calypso of Øresund, Baby, where the rocking bass lulls us to sleep to the beautiful Detecting Turtles. Alex Jønsson, who created a magical, fairytale-like atmosphere in The Lost Moose (reviewed here), has continued this vein. His opening, signature, melancholy chord on Dark Blue sets the tone which the others catch. He creates a sound which reaches back to the time of lutes and citterns but which speaks to us. These are wistful compositions, designed to be heard in a fire-lit room with the wind howling outside.

The arresting artwork of the album cover was created by Simon Gorm Eskildsen and you can see the making of it in the video below. The mixing and mastering by Kasper Nyhus are very fine. This is a delightful album by three talented musicians and composers which deserves its place on the shoulders of giants because, quite simply, it is beautiful.

Alex Jønsson, guitar
Jens Mikkel Madsen, double bass
Jakob Sørensen, trumpet
Simon Gorm Eskildsen, artwork


Buy album here

Mary James