Cecilie Strange – Blue Review
By Griff Stevens
Cecilie Strange is a saxophonist and composer that experiments and explores jazz sounds with other sounds from around the world to form her unique blend of expression. Strange graduated with a master’s degree from the Music Academy of Southern Denmark, Odense, and studied with saxophonists Chris Cheek, Bill McHenry, George Garzone, and Chris Potter in New York. In 2015 she released her first album as a bandleader titled The Beginning with her own quartet featuring Danish trumpeter Kasper Tranberg. The band formed for her bachelor’s degree concert at Syddansk Musikkonservatorium in Odense 2009. Her music shifts between different jazz genres like free, blues, and swing. Strange’s new album, Blue, was recorded in Thomas Vang’s “The Village” studio, Copenhagen, June 2019. Joining Strange is pianist Peter Rosendal, bassist Tommy Andersson and drummer Jacob Høyer,
“Bridge” is the opening track. Strange draws you into the introspective ballad with her soulful, warm tenor saxophone sound. The ensemble creates a mood that is melancholy yet joyful. Strange’s solo enfolds her lines with warmth and solace, pulling out the yearning and longing of each of her improvised melodies. Andersson continues the mellow theme in his solo as Høyer and Ronsendal color around him.
“Hymn to Papa” is the highlight of the date, with a beautiful piano intro from Rosendal. The melody flows from Strange’s horn with emotion and intent. Her solo has elements of jazz and Nordic folk melodies as she glides through the harmonic progression. Andersson’s solo is filled with his woody tone and no-nonsense approach to harmony. The use of dynamics and interaction is what makes this track so compelling.
Blue is a strong outing for saxophonist Cecilie Strange. The six original songs are performed with exquisite and delicate expressivity. This quartet speaks in a language that combines Nordic Jazz with the sounds of classic jazz. The result is something beautiful, something Strange and something Blue.
Release Date: May 29, 2020
Label: April Records & Music Co.
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