By John Ephland | Published August 2017
Recorded at Rainbow Studios, the brilliant, self-produced Rainbow Session is Norwegian saxophonist Harald Lassen’s move away from his better-known indie excursions (Pixel, Mopti, Duplex). Six Lassen pieces with Belgian’s LABtrio range from swinging ("Life So Far") to outward-bound (“Gayspectations”).
Lassen’s full-throated tenor (think Wayne Shorter, Jan Garbarek, Chris Potter) meshes surprisingly well on this made-on-tour recording. There’s an ease with pulse and cadence that channels early Ornette Coleman on the playful “Okay, I’m Harald.” The almost-11-minute “Your Impression” is a good example of Lassen’s penchant for letting others shine. This quiet number is a showcase for pianist Bram De Looze, the music introspective, patient, open-ended and quietly explosive. DB
Rainbow Session: Life So Far (Hasn’t Been That Bad); Gayspectations; Okay, I’m Harald; 13.03.87; Etter Storm Kommer Det Sol—Og Kudos; Your Impression. (41:43)
Personnel: Harald Lassen, tenor saxophone; Bram De Looze, piano; Anneleen Boehme, double bass; Lander Gyselinck, Tore Flatjord, percussion (1, 5).