Jacob Anderskov‘s latest album, Granular Alchemy (ILK Music) has him playing with Agnostic Revelations, which includes Gerald Cleaver (drums), Michael Formanek (bass), and Chris Speed (saxophone and clarinet). The title give a slight hint as what to expect at first: the seeds (or in this case, sand granules) being placed somewhere, eventually leading to the creation of four firmly composed and written songs. Anderskov helps to make sure the path is clear for everyone, although everyone, especially Speed, goes their own way and it’s not a race to see who gets to the finish line first, but to simply enjoy the path each of them go towards reaching a common spot. Some of it sounds like a more beautifully constructed form of free jazz, but when each of them get to a place of commonality, the results are superb. Tracks like “Sediments”, “Sand”, and “Metal” are mere elements (figuratively and literally) towards the construction of the album, but when it gets to the two-part suite of “Wind/Skin”, one begins to truly sense what is being created.
Granular Alchemy is an interpretation of what we see, hear, touch, smell, and feel, but it may also be the sound interpretation of us. Only in sound can it be this simple, and yet it sounds anything but simple.