Lotte Anker, Mette Petersen Quartet, Beyond The Mist

Charles Farrell

By Charles Farrell

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Beyond the Mist is genuinely interactive quartet music: The players are all integral to its success, contributing to the common language. Each also manages to establish a strong individual voice along the way.

A Danish quartet shows the American jazz community how it’s done.

Soprano saxophonist Lotte Anker, with her crystalline tone and unerring logic, deserves to be much better known than she is. Co-leader/pianist Petersen is no less impressive. She's got great facility and clean articulation, the courage to explore and an immediate responsiveness to her bandmates. Bassist Jesper Lundgaard and drummer Jesper Elén are consistently inventive, moving effortlessly between assertiveness and support.

“Guardian” is my favorite track. The band manages to sound airy and evanescent (although in 6/8 time) while all playing very busily. It's quite a trick to pull off. There's also an impressive “February” — a tune reminiscent of some of Wayne Shorter's compositions — and a terrific revisionist take on John Coltrane's “Syeeda's Flute Song.”

Aside from Anker (whose work I knew from her collaborations with pianists Marilyn Crispell and Craig Taborn) I was unfamiliar with the rest of this fantastic group. Even if you too are unfamiliar with these musicians, take a chance on this thoroughly satisfying album. (The Anker/Petersen Quintet album Being is also worth your while.)