42. Frederik Villmow Quartet ft. Tomas Franck

The October Second of Jazz post is about the newly released debut album "Live in Copenhagen" by Frederik Villmow Quartet featuring Tomas Franck.

Trondheim-based drummer Frederik Villmow has assembled some of his favorite musicians for this debut recording, which also features the renowned tenor saxophonists; Tomas Franck. Frederik Villmow is a German jazz-drummer, currently living in Trondheim, Norway. Recorded live at the legendary Jazzhus Montmartre in Copenhagen, the band presents compositions written by Frederik Villmow and Tomas Franck, as well as two ballads from the Great American Songbook; “Skylark” and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square”. With him on this album, Villmow also has pianist Carl Winther, the Norwegian bassist, Julian Haugland, and the German Berlin-based saxophonist Marc Doffey.

The instant you hit play, it is clear as day, that this album is inspired by the American jazz tradition. It is most likely also inspired by the vibes at the historic venue where it was recorded – a venue where the past attendance of many great legends makes a mark on the atmospheric presence. Frederik and Tomas’ compositions bring the listeners into a late-night jam session state of mind, and the music is performed joyfully and confidently. The band’s interpretations of the standards stand out among the other tunes, especially “Skylark” which is played as a duet between Julian and Marc. I can't put it into better words than the band leader himself, so here’s a quote; “It [Skylark] balances the whole set with its more intimate mood, and functions as a counterpoint to the rest of the concert program.” Indeed!

All five musicians dauntlessly experiment with the compositions and claim their rightful individual space, though, with an appropriate amount of respect for each other and the collective. This is a very promising debut album from a group of musicians whom I hope will continue to develop and create together.

I was mentally thrown into a lively NYC jam session as I was driving to work this morning, and it was the perfect start to my day! This is a wonderful contribution to your record collection that will put a positive spin on the upcoming cold autumn days.

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