Number Junky: Earth Matters

Pat Martino inclined Danish guitarist, now Australia resident, colours a bebop-oriented programme with provocative rhythmic variation

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An in-demand guitarist with a clutch of albums under his belt including his last album Out Of Nowhere (Cool it! Records, 2021) Kristian Borring is no stranger to major jazz venues in Europe including the UK and his native Denmark. He’s quite a globetrotter, though. Following a lengthy spell in London where he recorded a live album at The Vortex released as a digital download in 2017, he currently resides in Perth, Western Australia, where he formed in early 2020 a new trio with bassist Zac Grafton and drummer Peter Evans.

Borring studied jazz guitar at Conservatorium Van Amsterdam in The Netherlands and London’s Guildhall School of Music. He also gained a PhD in Music from Western Australia’s Edith Cowan University. He teaches jazz guitar at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts.

His trio’s name, Number Junky, was not a random choice: their debut album explores their love of numbers and odd time signatures. The aptly titled opener Bluesish is characterised by an instantly attractive relaxed groove, the sensibility of which is repeated on the laid-back title track. All the numbers were penned by Borring with the exception of two: Charlie Parker’s Segment is cannily invested with an intriguing off-kilter rhythm and his Cheryl gets a the staccato approach that relentlessly drives the piece along.

Borring’s playing style, heard on an elegant Eastman archtop, seems to channel the late Pat Martino both in terms of its fluidity and a similarly warm tone. His deployment of harmonically rich chordal patterns on Freiburg (Black Forest) is juxtaposed with particularly lithe single-note runs. Cuban-American pianist Fabian Almazan joins the trio on three tunes – The Elf, Tintin and Forty-Five – where in addition to adding another layer of depth he contributes some elegant solos on all three tracks.

Discography
Bluesish; The Elf; Earth Matters; Segment; Freiburg (Black Forest); Tintin; After Party; Forty-Five; Cheryl; Persian Hills (60.18)
Kristian Borring (elg); Zac Grafton (b); Peter Evans (d) plus guest Fabian Almazan (p). Perth, 12-13 February, 2021.
Cool it! Records