If you are looking for creative and unique music to listen to, you definitely need to check out “Alawari”; a band from Denmark creating euphonious jazz tracks inspired by the spirit of revolution and ancient war. Whether you are a jazz fan or not, Alawari’s new album is going to challenge and touch your heart with its intriguing and powerful style.
It is a true collaboration, with no individual songwriting credits and limited solo flexing. A number of the album’s eleven pieces are thoroughly-composed, with just a modicum of flexibility granted at the edges for the performers to develop their ideas, enhancing the sound progressively. This formula works effectively because the melodic themes are so powerful since these immersive compositions are skilly crafted and exciting throughout.
Some of the tunes have an ephemeral fragility, such as ‘Flimmer’, in which trumpeter Carlo Janusz Becker Lauritsen delivers the exquisite melody over gossamer trills from saxophonists Frederik Engell and Asger Uttrup Nissen and explosive tremolos from pianist Sune Sunesen Rendtorff. The two-part ‘Sorg’ is based around basic folk-like melodies, with Lauritsen delivering the tune in part one alongside a slow crescendo from the rest of the band, and the saxophonists delivering the melody in part two.
Aside from the times of peaceful serenity, there are also aggressive and unexpected moments. Eigil Pock Steen’s electronics and sampling on some of the tracks provide a disturbing undertone to the music. This can be modest, like on ‘Koral’, when tiny effects lend complexity to the otherwise majestic tranquillity. However, Steen is a far more commanding presence at times; on ‘Misundelse’, he is virtually the primary instrument, layering excerpts from, of all things, a 1980s documentary on pinball machine sound effects.
Alwari’s groundbreaking debut serves as a bold statement of intent, in which they show their vision: to tear apart the listener’s world, before asking them to reassemble it again. Get ready for some no holds barred improvisation and groove without boundaries.
Alawari’s eponymous debut album is out now via April Records.