The Misceo project started in autumn 2017 with drummer Frederik Bulow and cellist Joasia Cieslak joining forces to see what might happen when the worlds of jazz piano trio and classical string duo came together.
The result is Better Word For Love, an interesting mix of light and shade, built around complex and ever-changing polyrhythms, odd meters and structure chords. Minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Phillip Glass inform some of the sounds, as well as modern jazz composers such as Vijay Iver and Mark Turner.
It’s a short album that works well – there is an easy transition between jazz passages and the more restrained textures of cello and violin. Interestingly, although the release notes mention the romantic, playful nature of the music, some of the tracks are sometimes dark and underpinned with melancholy.
None of the compositions outstay their welcome, and the final track – Swedish, brings the two elements of Misceo, jazz and string duo, together for a hauntingly lovely melody that somehow seems entirely appropriate as a way to wrap things up.
The Contortionist; Polyum; Misceo; Melankoli; Ramble; Lost In Landscapes; Swedish;(30.31) Frederik Bulow (d); Adrian Christensen (b); Artturi Ronka (p); Joasia Cieslak (clo); Kern Westerberg (vn) Sibelius Academy Studio, 2019.
AMP Music and Records AT069