Almugi is an ancient Scandinavian word that means ‚free men of the Kingdom who possess the ability of goodness‘ and also the name for the new quartet of danish brass player and composer Mads la Cour.
Kasper Tom Christiansen (drum), Andreas Lang (double bass) and Lars Greve (clarinet) are joining Mads la Cour (cornet) in this quartet to play la Cour’s music with the intention of creating an honest, interactive and beautiful sound world.
Mads la Cour’s Almugi comes with a highly personal sound that explores a modern context of the Nordic region. The music is a reflection of la Cour’s unique compositional voice that features his highly personal playing style. This is organically developed contemporary jazz, with a wide variety of inspirations, from folk to avant-garde that nurtures a freely tonal language within collective improvisations.
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The music is a an open form of modern Jazz, which ignores genres and conventions and freely floats between melodic passages and free improvisations, presenting the complete palette used by today´s new generation of European Jazz players, who are constantly trying to expand the Jazz idiom.Adam Baruch, adambaruch.com
Sounding at times as if it was recorded in California not Copenhagen, the Almugi Quartet is all about procedural balance, rarely if ever probing atonal highs or dissonant lows. However like a bespoke suit that piques with its discriminating detailing, the moderated and unusual pairing of cornet and clarinet produces an airy synthesis, perfectly suited to La Cour’s compositions.Ken Waxman, jazzword.com
This is engaging music, each piece with a distinct sense of development, but what really holds the attention is the group sound and interplay. Trumpet and clarinet support and twist around each other constantly without ever sounding contrived, The drums and bass maintain an unflagging energy even when playing fractured and broken rhythms. This is a very fine set from top class players and it makes me want to check our what Mads has been up to with his other ‘ Free Men of the Kingdom’Mike Collins, London Jazz News
Mads la Cour has crafted a highly personal musical world that encompasses the serene, reserved Nordic jazz but corresponds with other musical worlds such as close and far folk traditions and contemporary music. The quartet plays as a band that has been playing together for years, creating an intimate, free tonal language within concise segments of collective improvisations. The close, melodic rich interplay of la Cour and Greve is naturally the heart of all pieces, all composed by la Cour. Their searching, warm sound, full with fresh, flowing ideas create an aural tapestry. Both enjoy the economic, driving pulse of Lang and Christiansen.Eyal Hareuveni, allaboutjazz.com
The gifted quartet expand la Cour's musical vision. The quartet outline beautiful, heartfelt melodies, always in a quiet, reserved manner, as on the sublime "Allmogen," the fragile, chamber "I Jules" or the contemplative "Emilie"; move to a playful, fuky mode on "Sir Dance a Lot" or suggest a gentle dance on "Araber." "Polka" present an experimental, searching side of the quartet at its introduction before the quartet unite for reciting the strong theme.
These four exceptional musicians are gifted with a rare musical gift. Inspiring, beautiful music.