By Martin Longley | Published December 2018
Phronesis now is up to its eighth studio album, offering no massively altered strategy, but consolidating a dynamic clashing of rigorous composition and improvisatory flight. Based in London, this crew consists of members from England, Denmark and Sweden, sticking to its stable lineup of keyboardist Ivo Neame, bassist Jasper Høiby and drummer Anton Eger.
The opening Høiby number, “One For Us,” is nine minutes of evolving moods, beginning with a morose classical feel, as bowed bass and rippling keys herald the explosive entrance of the drums. It soon develops into a chase, as Neame ripples and races like an alternative Oscar Peterson, Eger’s sticks clacking around rims. Eger’s “The Edge” has an arty lounge quality, as if its cocktails are spiked, while “Breathless” is more concerned with enunciating its melody, rather than serving as a platform for individual’s flash. The closing “The Tree Did Not Die” (another Eger tune) is the odd track out, as Neame plays keyboards and acoustic piano, creating cycling electronic textures. Staccato prodding ensues, roughing up the swirls, with all three players hitting the same percussive points, repeating alongside misty vocal chorus samples. This is the point where Phronesis moves confidently into a new musical space.
We Are All: One For Us; Matrix For D.A.; The Edge; Emerald Horseshoe; Breathless; The Tree Did Not Die. (40:58)
Personnel: Ivo Neame, piano, keyboards; Jasper Høiby, bass; Anton Eger, drums.