…five young musicians who share a love for Afrobeat, soul, Motown, and Ethiopian jazz.

April Records

Andreas Toftemark – Saxophone; Rolfe Thofte – Trumpet; Mads Norgaard – Guitar; Anton Langebaek – bass; David Besiakov – drums

Guests: Simon Eskildsen – organ; Yohan Ramon – percussion

The pandemic closed down a lot of things but, luckily for us, you can’t always put a stop to creativity.

A Plane To Catch are five young musicians who share a love for Afrobeat, soul, Motown, and Ethiopian jazz. They found a practice spot in an old industrial facility on the outskirts of Copenhagen. They came up with an album called MOKO JUMBIE. “Moko” is an African word that means healer and “jumbie” means ghost or spirit. In Trinidad, during Carnival, a moko jumbie is a wildly dressed dancer on tall stilts.

‘Shoot ’is a loping Mexican-sounding piece with lots of brass from Rolfe Thofte. His trumpet sounds great no matter what he’s doing; playing loud, soft, reaching for the high notes, or dueting with buddy Andreas Toftemark on saxophone.

‘Almost There ’is one funky beast. The bass and guitar have a call and response yanked from the soul playbook. Saxophonist Andreas Toftemark and trumpeter Thofte have this menacing double horn line. Drummer David Besiakov’s oscillating snares and cymbals keep up a steady toe-tapping groove. James Brown would have been proud.

I love Mads Norgaard’s guitar solo on ‘Ethiopiques.’ It sounds like the Ventures filtered through a Middle Eastern reverb. The drummer keeps a rock steady beat going while Rolfe Thofte’s trumpet sounds like it escaped from a mariachi band. There are bumpy sultry saxophone lines and Simon Eskildsen’s organ plays eerily in the background.

‘Ethiopiques ’is in tribute to Ethiopian musician Mulatu Astatke. He recorded in the sixties and seventies playing percussion and vibraphone. Ethiopiques is also a series of CDs that reissued Ethiopian music; mostly jazz but there’s also traditional, folk, and even some new recordings.

’Shake Your B ’is the only song with vocals. Its funk, soul, rhythm and blues all rolled into one. With the lyrics, “Move your butt, you gorgeous girl / Shake your balls, you dirty dog,” you’re allowed to get up and dance!

‘Douche Boy ’is a pretty soul tune. Toftemark’s slinky sax sounds great but adding a female guest vocalist would have been perfect. Labelmate Nana Rashid would have been a nice addition. Maybe on A Plane To Catch’s next trip?

In the last year April Records have put out jazz, male and female vocals, hip-hop, funk, big band recordings and they’re all good. They have become one of the hippest record labels around.

Reviewed by Tim Larsen