The Nicolai Majland Trio’s 10-track Welcome is a pleasure to listen to and one not to be missed. It demonstrates high levels of talent in every track. It was said after Majland’s first album, Leaving And Believing, that he had the “Nordic tone deep in his soul, and [that] he plays jazz that sneaks up on the listener”. The same is evident here.
Sutri, the first track, was written in the Italian town of the same name. This is unsurprising given the song’s blissfully relaxed, warm and easy-going mood, created by elegant melodies from Majland on the piano. These align smoothly with some great bass and drums playing by Thomas Fonnesbæk and Morten Lund respectively.
That sentimental tone lingers into the second track, Welcome, if not the entire album. Welcome once again showcases Majland’s exquisitely beautiful playing, often enhanced by his choice of rich chords. What’s Your Name maintains the heartfelt tone while adding a little more funk. It’s a track that you should find yourself smiling to. Lund has his moment in the latter half when he demonstrates some very impressive solo drum playing. Fonnesbæk’s ability to play complex, chromatic runs really comes to the forefront here and then again in the sixth track, Minor Minutes.
Sentimentality and nostalgia return in the eighth track, The Disappointment. Perhaps the most pensive track on the album, it has Majland’s thoughtful and reflective musical lines contrasting with a steadier pace from Fonnesbæk and Lund. It makes for a wonderful mixture of emotions that seem ever influential on one another. Thanks to the ease with which Majland, Fonnesbæk and Lund musically converse, Welcome is an utter delight that I will revisit frequently.
Sutri; Welcome; What’s Your Name; Gratitude; Who Cares; Minor Minutes; Do The To-Dos; The Disappointment; Off Road Blues; Wife’s Waltz (50.18)
Majland (p); Thomas Fonnesbæk (b); Morten Lund (d). Denmark, c. 2021.
AMP Music & Records AT091