Premiere: Watch A Video For Anne Mette Iversen’s ‘Racing A Butterfly’

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Bassist Anne Mette Iversen leads her Quartet +1 ensemble on Racing A Butterfly.

(Photo: Solvejg Hockings)

The ideas of flight, freedom and play are at the heart of Anne Mette Iversen’s latest leader date, Racing A Butterfly, a disc the bassist recorded with her Quartet +1 ensemble.

Due out May 15 on Brooklyn Jazz Underground, Racing A Butterfly toggles between artful calm and joyful swing. And the album’s title track, which premieres here, offers an exuberant musical translation of the bandleader’s experience in a park one day.

“[It] was inspired by a literal race with a butterfly I had during a run one summer morning in Provence, France,” Iverson said in an email. “Running along the lavender fields on a dirt road, while the temperature was quickly rising, a colorful butterfly came out of the wild flowers that grow on the roadside ... . We stayed side by side for a moment and then it started to play. It flew ahead, dropped back, caught up with me again, spun circles, twisted and turned in a kind of a dance. This went on for a surprisingly long while, until the butterfly finally took off. It was the fun, the enjoyment, the playfulness and lightness that was so beautiful and which nature displayed so naturally, that made me feel that I really ought to celebrate those sides of life more ... .”

That celebration’s clearly rendered here through her ensemble’s frontline—tenor saxophonist John Ellis and trombonist Peter Dahlgren—as their features toward the end of the track seem to aurally depict the insect’s rising flight and its aerial acrobatics. Listeners might not have a chance to see a replay of the race, but they’ll likely enjoy hearing the play-by-play. DB



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June 2021
Vijay Iyer
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