This Scandinavian trio featuring eminent German trumpeter and cunning improviser Axel Dörner strikes a golden chord via a diverse outlook, containing ferocious free-bop jaunts, vivid expressionism, and a treasure trove of guileful deviations.
Dorner’s throaty air current manipulations offer a bizarre and unassuming launch to the proceedings on the first piece, ”Prologue: Dornotomie.” However, the entire album parlays an evolutionary sequence of processes. With ongoing theme constructions and briskly articulated free flights, the band effortlessly aligns a regimented structural component with loosely based improvisational parts. They also engage in quite a few reengineering escapades, topped off with the soloists’ vibrant interactions and effective use of space.
It’s a mesmeric yet cogent journey, projecting a thrills a minute vibe. Whether the soloists’ pursue gruff, bump and grind movements or alternate between tricky time signatures and temperate moments, the program equates to a moveable feast for the mind’s eye. And with “Krakatau,” the quintet surges with a linear sound design, shaded with emotive subtleties and energized by way of spiraling choruses, accelerated by Atle Nymo’s garrulous sax solo atop a swaggering pulse. In effect, the band bolsters a consortium of ominous propositions, abetted by a rolling wave of expansive dialogues. In sum, “Art Transplant” is a top pick for 2011. These folks pull out the proverbial stops while revealing a mark of authenticity to the overall dynamic. – Glenn Astarita
Personnel: Atle Nymo (ts), Axel Dörner (t), Håkon Mjåset Johansen (d), Håvard Wiik (p), Ole Morten Vágan (b),