Oddarrang - Sometimes gentle, sometimes ferocious
Oddarrang are the Finnish ensemble that so impressed at last year's London jazz festival with music that seemed to segue from the laconic lyricism of Ennio Morricone to free jazz to the rock-anthem crescendos of the late Esbjorn Svensson group, featuring a quirky lineup including electric guitar, cello and trombone. Four tracks on this, their third album, were originally written for movies, and they sound like it. At first, it's like a classic north-Euro ECM session, but Lasse Sakara's guitar twang eventually introduces a repeating three-note hook, Ilmari Pohjola's plush trombone tone embraces it, and Osmo Ikonen's cello enters with a melody that could have come from a traditional Irish folk song. Themes as fresh yet familiar-sounding as that turn up throughout, but in settings that are sometimes gentle, sometimes ferociously heated. Missing Tapes from A Highway Set mixes bouzouki-like strummings with a military tattoo, while The Sage is very Morricone-like. There's plenty of jazz in this accessible and sometimes majestic album, but you don't have to be a jazzer to get it.
The Guardian, Thursday 10 October 2013 22.15 BST
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