Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Snorre Kirk - Drummer & Composer (STUNT RECORDS 2017)

Once again Snorre Kirk demonstrates his originality. With respectful nods to Ellington and Mingus, his star-stud- ded band plays his wonderful, enthralling tunes and lovely arrangements.

A top-notch sideman with several of Scandinavia’s best acts as well as a handful of prominent international names such as Diane Schuur, Eric Reed and Stephen Riley, drummer and bandleader Snorre Kirk has blossomed as a composer in recent years. In some jazz circles there is an old prejudice against drummers as bandleaders. According to this para- digm they can’t keep a hold on things from behind the drum kit. If there is any truth to this, it certainly does not apply to Snorre Kirk. This young Norwegian resident of Denmark is an extremely flexible drummer with a respectful eye on jazz tradition. He is renowned as a loyal drummer behind voca- lists Sidsel Storm and Malene Mortensen, tenor saxophonist Jesper Thilo, and in trios led by pianist Magnus Hjort and bassist and vocalist Kristin Korb. 

Kirk has put together a band of some of Scandinavia’s finest musicians. His debut CD from 2012, BLUES MODERNISM, was a conceptual album with blues in modern shapes and ang- les – all written by the bandleader. Kirk’s critically acclaimed debut received Jazz Special magazine’s annual award for bestalbum as well as two Danish Music Award nominations. The follow-up, EUROPA, paved the path for an international breakthrough with performances at several of the world’s lea- ding jazz festivals including North Sea Jazz Festival, Art of Swing Festival in Kansas City and Finland’s Pori Jazz Festival.

Once again Snorre Kirk demonstrates his originality. With respectful nods to Ellington and Mingus, his star-studded band plays his wonderful, enthralling tunes and lovely arran- gements on his third release SNORRE KIRK, COMPOSER & DRUMMER. Although Kirk’s music borrows from his heroes, he does not copy. That is one of the fascinating aspects of his timeless and often poetic and elegant compositions and arrangements – they never even come close to copies or pla- giarisms. It is true that he is a traditionalist, but he is also an artist with a solid and true grip on the essence of jazz.

The music on COMPOSER & DRUMMER sounds like something we might recognize, and then again... the nerdy desire to play guessing games swiftly disappears, because the playing is virtuosic, soulful and full of genuine dedication. His marvelous and ego-free devotion to the full musical pic- ture creates the perfect framework in which the soloists may shine. Just as jazz compositions should! This is well defined and transparently swinging jazz music with a huge “J”!

1. Prelude 1:25
2. Heartland 3:22
3. The Main Drag 4:12
4. Pastorale 8:01
5. Port Lights 4:16
6. The Capital Blues 4:11
7. Grace 6:03
8. Swing City Blowout 8:02
9. Postlude 1:46

Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Klas Lindquist
Bass – Lasse Mørck
Cornet – Tobias Wiklund
Drums – Snorre Kirk
Tenor Saxophone – Jan Harbeck
Trombone – Magnus Wiklund