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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Lotte Anker, Thomas, Håker Flaten & Liavik Solberg - His Flight's At Ten (Iluso, 2018) ****½

By Stef

If you're a lover of energetic music, raw, fierce and fearless, if you enjoy the adventure of four musicians interacting with assertiveness and sensitivity, if you like the unexpected, even if you're acquainted with free improvisation, and still like to be taken off-guard, if you like sudden changes, if you can appreciate chaos as both a source and end-point for a journey that can be full of calm, respect and sophistication, if you like pounding chords as well as subtle harmonics, if you like screaming saxes as well as precious timbral vibrations, if you like powerful bass-playing and screeching bows, if you like hard-hitting sticks and refined cymbal touches, if you like to be overwhelmed and impressed and taken for a wonderful trip without having anything to say except to become part of the music, then this album is for you.

The quartet are Lotte Anker on saxophones, Pat Thomas on piano, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten on double bass, and Ståle Liavik Solberg on drums and percussion. They take you on board for a wonderful flight, from a rocky departure to a soft landing, and luckily the flight is not linear. The rhythm section, including the piano, is ferocious at times, yet Anker is a real master in keeping the plane stable despite the ongoing turbulence, keeping her beautiful warm tone, even in the harshest parts, human and sensitive. And it's a real quartet album, with all musicians contributing to the total sounds, including having their own short solo time, but the real treat is when all the violence and the power move together in the same direction, with speed and a common sense of destination.

An eventful, fascinating and exhaustive flight.

Listen and download from Bandcamp.