Marius Neset & Norwegian Radio Orchestra: Summer Dance

Norwegian saxman plays quartet jazz, classical and folk music with Ivo Neame, Peter Eldh, Anton Eger and the national radio orchestra


This magnificent release from Neset certainly has the wow factor. A bold and dizzy combination of quartet jazz, classical and folk music, it showcases Neset’s abilities as a composer as well as performer.

Such is the range of styles presented, you will hear anything from the influence of Miles Davis through to lush, dramatic symphonic compositions reminiscent of large, sweeping works from European composers in the late 19th through to the mid-20th centuries.

Given that nature in all its glory and variety informed Neset’s musical ideas, there is also a scurrying, experimental feel to this, reflecting the subject matter. Overall, what sticks in the mind the most – apart from the virtuoso performances from all concerned – is how Neset has woven so many unique styles, time signatures and layers of ideas into this immersive experience. It grabs the listener with moments of drama and interludes of gentleness and builds to a thunderous climax. It was recorded live, and it is also clear from the audience reaction that they know they have listened to something special.

The strangest thing about Summer Dance is ACT’s decision to make this a digital-only release. Sure, that is the way a lot of us now consume music, but without sleeve notes, recording information and a physical copy, there will be lots of potential listeners who will miss out on this wonderful and engaging music. And that is a shame.

A Day In The Sparrow’s Life; It Looks Like Glass Parts 1 And 2; Windless; Spring Dance/Police; Prelude; Math Of Mars; Summer Dance (64.00)
Neset (ts); Ivo Neame (p); Peter Eldh (b); Anton Eger (d); Norwegian Radio Orchestra. No date given.
ACT – no catalogue number, digital download only