REVIEW: Mark Solborg Trio featuring Herb Robertson & Evan Parker’s “The Trees”

Mark Solborg photo MSolborg_cover_zpsb3a82e48.jpg A collage.

A massage.

A barrage.

These are the three things I thought of while listening to The Trees (Ilk), and while that may not make any sense at first, it may upon completion of hearing this album.

The Mark Solboorg Trio are Mats Eilertsen on double bass and Peter Bruun on drums, percussion and kalimba. The trio also welcome in Herb Robertson on trumpets, kalimba, and pump organ and Evan Parker on saxophone, kalimba, and gong, playing a style of jazz that is uniquely European but also never straying far from their American influences (with the only American performing on this is Robertson). While this isn’t all out free jazz, there is a sense of freedom here that isn’t heard in traditional jazz, and wondering where each of these musicians will take themselves and one another is one of the highlights of The Trees. Some of these songs come off like “a spaniard in the words”, where you’re not sure if they’re trying to come up with a solution, or are merely releasing the deliberation of possible ideas to display, but it’s fun to hear what they come up with. Parker’s saxophone work stands out in “Skyrækker”, and as he slowly moves into the background, the others layer themselves in future songs and it becomes less than individual songs and more as one cohesive piece. Even if you’re unsure if all of it should stick with one another or it’s just diverse influences placed under one umbrella, you listen because the listen is thrilling, and you don’t want to let go while flying through. Perhaps this is why they called this album The Trees. One can only wonder.