Can expert musicianship compensate for a listener’s dislike of a genre? Put another way, is it possible to dig an electric jazz record – after years of loathing electric jazz – due solely to the strength of its performances?
Radio Galaksy’s Free Ride LP, released in November of last year, is proof positive that no musical genre should ever been written off. These six tracks are profoundly immersing. So much so that you’ll soon forget the question this post started with. It just doesn’t matter.
Søren Jensen pulled Radio Galaksy together in 2014. Described as a “music constellation,” the line up on this fine album includes Viktor Krauss on upright bass, Aske Jacoby on guitar and Christoffer Jespersen on keyboards. Jensen is both drummer and producer.
The playing is spacious; the music never rushed. Solos are performed in a traditional jazz style, with band members stepping back and letting whomever’s in the spotlight show us what they’ve got. Every single time, that turns out to be something pretty special.
Jacoby’s guitar on “The Lottery” is the stuff of celebrated summertime music festivals. Guest trombonist Lis Wessberg carries “The Bike” with an intimate, nicely paced performance.
The highlight of the album features two guest vocalists: Jakob Dahn and Sara Broberg. “Alone On Planet Earth” is a Leonard Cohen-esque spoken word piece over top of lush guitar and trombone. The resonance of Dahn’s voice is not unlike Thomas Feiner’s on The Opiates. Broberg’s accompaniment is right on the mark.
Wish I’d gotten to this one sooner.