Phronesis - The Presence

Phronesis have a goal in mind and by means of what they play, rather than what they say, are well on course to staking out their claim as the breakthrough jazz band of the year.

A piano trio, led crucially from the bass by Jasper Høiby, their latest album was recorded live with much talked about pianist Ivo Neame, and guest drummer Mark Giuliana standing in for Anton Eger, comes out just days after Jazzwise hits the streets. Could Phronesis be rewriting the rule book, asks Selwyn Harris.

Not for nothing is the new CD by double bassist Jasper Høiby’s trio Phronesis called Alive. It says all you need to know about a Dane, a Brit and a Swede who are turning more than a few heads with some recent electrifying live gigs. A couple of performances at the Forge Arts Venue in Camden Town in March form the basis of a blistering yet intimately recorded CD just released by the indie jazz label of the moment that is the Cardiff-based Edition Records.

The track selection is culled from two consecutive evenings of performances in which Phronesis showed why they’re one of the most exhilarating UK-based bands at present. In terms of contemporary piano trio jazz, Phronesis look the complete package. Rhythmically, they sound as if they have been injected with a large dose of the kind of feverish and intricate percussive activity and propulsive grooves you’d expect to hear at a Rio carnival. Melodically, Høiby’s writing favours folky-flavoured yet majestic themes drawn from mainly Brazilian, latin, Mediterranean, and North European sources.

This is an extract from Jazzwise Issue #144 – to read the full article click here to subscribe and receive a FREE CD...


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