blaer: yellow

I posted about BLAER’s previous album last year. Yellow, their latest release, is just as good! This quintet, led by pianist Maja Nydegger, is tight and intuitive, functioning as a single organism. It’s hard to say how much of their music is composed and how much is improvised, and I mean that in the best way. Some tracks, such as the title tune and “The Unknown”, are based on gentle piano repetitions that slowly cycle as sax and clarinet wistfully soar over the landscape. Things shift gears on “The Years”, with tension and tempo taking off like a runaway train. A contemplative state returns as “Kosmo” begins, yet it seems as if it’s headed somewhere and indeed this long piece is a journey. “Epilog” has an almost ambient feel to it, while “All We Need” picks up the pace again. The album ends with the epic “Arktis”. BLAER continue to mature and impress, creating musical moods that resonate and inspire.

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