By Cree McCree | Published September 2020
Languid, moody and dreamy, the aptly titled Blue sets listeners adrift on a soundscape painted with tonal colors that are both melancholic and warm. On her second album as a leader, the young Danish saxophonist Cecilie Strange draws a rich, deep tone out of her tenor that blends seamlessly with the minimalist playing of her perfectly modulated quartet.
“Bridge,” the first of six original compositions, sets the tone for the album with a hazy ambiance that makes everything that follows seem as effortless as breathing. In “Hymn To Papa,” a muted saxophone floats above a contemplative keyboard progression, while Thommy Andersson plays his bass like a guitar, plucking a rapid series of runs. After a long pause, Strange’s tenor emerges, offering a lovely coda suspended in tranquility. Blue heads way up north for “Mykines”—a remote village on the Faroe Islands—with a jazzier sound that mirrors the rolling hills and precipitous cliffs that surround the North Atlantic hamlet. Borne aloft, “The Dance #4.2” swings on Strange’s tenor tremolos, then retraces Blue’s opening theme on “First Step.” Atmospheric and evocative throughout, the album ends on a suspended note both haunting and hopeful, and makes a perfect companion for these often lonely pandemic times.
Blue: Bridge; Bjergkøbing; Hymn To Papa; Mykines; The Dance #4.2; First Step. (43:40)
Personnel: Cecilie Strange, tenor saxophone; Peter Rosendal, piano; Thommy Andersson, bass; Jakob Høyer, drums.