We Are All is the eighth studio album by the London trio Phronesis, who have received widespread acclaim since their inception in 2005. Formed by bassist Jasper Høiby, they won Jazz Ensemble of the Year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards in 2017 and were nominated for Best Jazz Act at the MOBO Awards in 2010. Their music contains an incredible mixture of styles, woven together with expert complexity.
The opening track, “One For Us”, merges a whirling, atmospheric introduction with a driving platform for fast paced improvisation by pianist Ivo Neame. The effect is excellent, and as Høiby changes the dynamic suddenly by switching from bowing to plucking his double bass, drummer Anton Eger begins to embellish his rhythm with more sporadic patterns. Thus the tone is set for the rest of the album, one of energy, expression, and juxtaposition. “Matrix For D.A.” blends a soft, cool-jazz vibe, before delving further into dissonant unison between the piano and bass, as the drum fills add increasing momentum. In contrast, “The Edge” is an delicate ballad that culminates in soaring improvisation, and the final track, “The Tree Did Not Die”, brings together the acoustic nature of the ensemble with cosmic soundscapes through the use of electric piano.
We Are All is an incredibly fresh take on the jazz trio, and no stone is left unturned in their invigorating exploration of the format. Go and see them live.
One For Us; Matrix For D.A.; The Edge; Emerald Horseshoe; Breathless; The Tree Did Not Die (40.58)
Jasper Høiby (b); Ivo Neame (p); Anton Eger (d). Copenhagen, 2018.