Rasmus Sorensen is a terrific jazz pianist.

April Records

 

BALANCING ACT Rasmus Sorensen – Grand Piano;  Kendrick Scott – Drums;  Alexander Claffy – Double Bass

 

TRAITS Rasmus Sorensen – Grand Piano;  Jon Henriksson – Double Bass;  Francesco Ciniglia – Drums

 

Rasmus Sorensens new album, BALANCING ACT, was recorded in four hours.  There was no rehearsal, and the musicians had never played together as a trio before.  I think that is amazing.  The three originals, two standards, and the Coltrane tune sound like the trio has been playing together for years. 

 

Pianist Sorensen returned to Denmark after spending five years in New York City.  He was an active member of the Copenhagen jazz scene, but he wanted to attend the Manhattan School of Music.  After listening to his admission recital the school gave him a full-tuition scholarship.  New York City has some of the best jazz players in the world, and Sorensen got to play with many of them. 

 

Drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist Alexander Claffy form the BALANCING ACT rhythm section.  Both call New York home.  Scott has played with some of the biggest names in jazz.  Claffy is a much in-demand bassist.

 

Is That So?sets the tone for the album with its effortlessly easy swinging groove.  The music is jovially good natured.  Sorensen has an expressive use of harmony, melody, and rhythm.  Later in the tune, the piano gets louder, and the tempo increases.  Sorensen pushes and pulls the notes, playing behind the beat.  After all of the rhythmic ideas are tossed back and forth, a drum solo morphs into a drum piano duet.


Sorensen wrote
Steps Ahead,a beautiful post bop romp.  Claffys resonant woody sounding bass grabs your ear and wont let go.  Scotts drumming is spot on.  I like the tasty way he uses his cymbals to accentuate transitions.

 

Coltranes 12-bar blues, Mr. Daywas written in the key of F# Major, one of the brightest keys.  Mix that with Sorensens beautifully developed melodic sense and youve got a piece of music brimming with joy.

 

BALANCING ACT does sound like the musicians have had years together.  Its fun to hear how easily they toss tantalizing ideas back and forth.

 

Sorensen recorded his first album, TRAITS, in 2021, and April Records is rereleasing it at the same time as BALANCING ACT.  TRAITS is also an excellent trio with Italian drummer Francesco Ciniglio and Swedish bassist Jon Henriksson.

 

TRAITS is a fine album.  Its as easy to listen to as BALANCING ACT.  It may not be as finely focused as BALANCING ACT but it is a great debut.

 

Rasmus Sorensen is a terrific jazz pianist.  Someone asked him about his interactions with other musicians, and he said, I think its part of my personality to want to accommodate all the people Im in the room with.  I want to hear what he sounds like in a quartet, a quintet, or even a big band.  I think we can look forward to some wonderful recordings from Rasmus in the near future.