"Symphonic Bop" is a deceptively simple title for an album that, in six compositions, covers avant-garde jazz to contemporary chamber music, and the ground in between, offering an important statement of jazz and its centrality in contemporary musical culture. The VEIN trio expands its range beyond the crystalline precision and intimacy of the small ensemble to the awesome power and depth of an internationally acclaimed jazz orchestra, as they are joined with the Norbotten Big Band.
"It's a crossover tour de force, and would make an enthralling live show, too." John Fordham, The Guardian, March 2019
VEIN Trio already has a reputation as "one of Europe's most exciting ensembles", according to John Fordham, of The Guardian. With Symphonic Bop, recorded with the acclaimed Norrbotten Big Band Orchestra under artistic director Joakim Milder earlier this year, and the ensemble's thirteenth album, VEIN expands its range beyond the crystalline precision and intimacy of the small ensemble to the awesome power and depth of an internationally acclaimed jazz orchestra.
What makes this work stand out among works for jazz orchestra is that, though it uses the power of a jazz orchestra to the full, VEIN's small-group heritage and identity ensure that the delicacy and texture of Individual instrumental colours and lines are never obscured by the full weight of the orchestra. VEIN's pianist, Michael Arbenz, who arranged and orchestrated all six tracks, explains: "The big band is an extension or an orchestration of the trio, which adds all the colours of a Big Band without losing the flexibility and the interaction of the trio." The atmosphere of the classical orchestra can also be heard through the arrangements: "The inspiration for the arrangements comes more from the symphonic tradition than the big band," says Michael Arbenz. The result is an album with the rhythmical subtlety, the melodic invention, and the sensational ensemble playing of VEIN's trio albums, but with the heft and depth of an orchestra. Truly the best of both worlds.
"one of the most imaginative piano trios around" European Jazz Radio
" Vein seamlessly merge their jump-cut methods with sophisticated, classically influenced orchestral scoring ... confirm their languid hipness... abstract improv .. and their exuberant appetite for slamming together old-school swing riffs, boneshaking funk, and shapely free-piano improv at warp speeds" (The Guardian)
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