Friday 15 September 2023

'Moonlight Drive' by Jakob Dinesen/Anders Christensen/Laust Sonne

'Moonlight Drive' marks the sophomore album release from Danish trio Jakob Dinesen, Anders Christensen and Laust Sonne who unveil their transcendent new record through April Records.

The independent record label has long proved to be a veritable hub for innovative and progressive perspectives on contemporary Danish jazz.  Through the artists that comprise their dynamic roster, like the neo-soul-inspired Tigeroak, the heavenly noir jazz of Nana Rashid or the immersive global soundscapes of Kalaha, April Records projects are very much celebrations of Denmark's boundlessly talented artists and the phenomenal imagination that they bring to their music.

While certainly a label revered for ushering in new talent, April also holds the distinction for providing a home to artists who have amassed a wealth of experience and successes over the years.  Between them, Dinesen, Christensen and Sonne have played as key members of numerous ensembles and collectives across a wide array of genres, graced stages the world over and clocked up an immeasurable amount of accolades during that time as well.

Jakob Dinesen's lengthy career has seen the saxophonist thrive as a solo artist as well as amidst an extensive array of ensembles and projects that demonstrate his adeptness to flit from swing to bebop and beyond.  An impassioned artist and educator, Dinesen's work within the Sara Indrio & The Latin Collective is as varied as his more synonymous contributions to Once Around The Park and it's his versatility that cements Dinesen as a leading name within contemporary jazz.

'Moonlight Drive' serves as another project in a lengthy collaborative history that has paired Dinesen alongside the work of bassist, Anders Christensen.  Having collaborated together on a variety of projects, including Once Around The Park and Jakob Dinesen's Trio, the duo's lengthy friendship reaches a sensational culmination in 'Moonlight Drive'.  Again, with Christensen's tireless efforts within the industry having secured him the prestige of inclusion within collectives like Jakob Bro Trio and Hans Ulrik Group - as well as releases under his own trio formation - the bassist has ascended to one of Denmark's most distinguished players.

The 'Moonlight Drive' trio is rounded out by drummer Laust Sonne.  An artist as synonymous with his contributions to rock music as he is for jazz and an artist whose versatility is perhaps only outmatched by his flamboyancy.  With a slew of solo releases to his name and notable contributions to groups including Dear and D-A-D, Sonne proves an inspired inclusion for Dinesen-Christensen-Sonne trio.

The new release proves to be a fitting follow-up to 2021's 'Blessings'.  Recorded at The Village Recording, Denmark, over the course of two days in late-October 2022, the music is enchanting with some understated performances that really elevate the project as a complete piece of work.  With writing and compositions shared between the trio, highlights are abound from the gentle swing of 'Blue Ace' to the sublime performances of 'Yahya'.  The eight-minute title track delivers as a remarkable centrepiece for the album as the track veers from those moments of spirited and infectious energy to charming serenity.

'Moonlight Drive' delivers as a beautiful piece of work fully justifying its place amongst the catalogues of these revered masters of their craft.

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