Ever walk barefoot along a beach and watch the waves push sand and pebbles into shore, only to see them pulled back out again?
Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen – piano; Lasse Jacobsen – drums; Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen – bass
I wonder how many jazz piano trio albums have been recorded. Hundreds? Maybe a lot more? So is another one really necessary? Little North obviously think so. This is their third or fourth trio record; I haven’t heard the others but WIDE OPEN is damn good and I’m happy they put it out.
Little North are different from a lot of American piano trios. There’s a stronger European classical music tradition at play. I even hear some Scandinavian folk music in there.
Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen’s piano style is closer to Bill Evans than say someone like Red Garland; who swings like crazy. Listen to Red’s left hand when he’s playing ‘C Jam Blues.’ He swings the eighth note behind the second and fourth beat. He lets you know he’s syncopating when he hits the downbeat right smack on the beat.
Little North may not swing like Red Garland, or McCoy Tyler, or a host of other American artists but they’ll take you on an enjoyable ride nonetheless!
Drummer Lasse Jacobsen has a very delicate touch. He uses his brushes a lot and I’ve even seen him cover his snare with a towel to muffle the sound a bit.
Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen is a very melodic bass player. Listen to his slow walking intro on ‘Elna.’ His strings resonate. The piano’s glissando seem to slide off the bass and brush up against Jacobsen’s cymbals.
Sometimes the piano will state the theme of a tune. Or… the bass. The drummer can pitch the melody. There’s such an organic ebb and flow with this band. Ever walk barefoot along a beach and watch the waves push sand and pebbles into shore, only to see them pulled back out again?
You probably won’t be snapping your fingers to these guys; they’re too cerebral for that. Listening to them you’ll feel like you’ve got your favorite old clothes on and the world’s in an okay spot right now.
Reviewed by Tim Larsen