Released in October, a year after its recording in Rome, The Trip is a fresh and modern album, from a group of internationally renowned jazz musicians. The project formed after saxophonist Gianni Gagliardi met drummer Anders Thorén in Oslo, Norway. Gagliardi is the director of the Barcelona Jazz Collective, and has a long list of high-level international performances to his name. Thorén then brought in Tim Thornton on bass, who won the Rising Star category at the 2013 British Jazz Awards, and guitarist and composer of much of the quartet’s material, Odd Albrigtsen.
The album opens with Respite, and Albrigtsen’s guitar provides a warm, fuzzy chord progression over which Gagliardi carves a striking and dynamic melody. The second track, Morena, takes on a dynamic, improvised approach, with a long intro that is lifted by the bass and drums that appear midway through, building in intensity before all instruments fade away. Macanudo Man opens and closes with a complex and dissonant unison melody between saxophone and bass, between which Gagliardi provides extensive improvisation, before a bebop-style solo from Alrigtsen.
Some of the track’s titles make interesting references, with the fourth track Captain Kirk and the sixth, The Old Piano And The Sea being obvious examples. The latter of the two, as well as the seventh track, McCoy, are curious, as the quartet does not include a pianist. None the less, they are both engaging tracks, with The Old Piano And The Sea being a slow, searching composition led by saxophone, and McCoy a fast, trad-style piece on which drummer Anders Thorén stands out.
As instrumentation and timbre remain unchanged throughout, the appeal of The Trip is the skill of its musicians, the cohesion between them, and the excellent results that they achieve.
Respire; Morena; Macanudo Man; Captain Kirk; Winter; The Old Piano And The Sea; McCoy; Spira (42.02)
Gianni Gagliardi (ts); Odd Albrigtsen (g); Tim Thornton (b); Anders Thorén (d). Rome, October 2018.
AMP Music & Records AT044