Søren Gemmer »The Lark«

The Lark
Søren Gemmer

2016 WhyPlayJazz (RS028)
CD + MP3 Album Download


  1. The Madonna & The Whore  3:53
  2. The Muse  2:40
  3. The Lark  4:43
  4. Improvisation I  1:39
  5. Hilma Af Klint  5:17
  6. Improvisation II  2:10
  7. Tinder  4:25
  8. Intermezzo  0:32
  9. Poulenc  5:58
  10. Improvisation III  0:59
  11. Journalism  3:59
  12. Improvisation IV  3:01
  13. Writer's Bloch (for Carl Bloch)  3:19



Usually when so-called classical music is mentioned in an improvised music context, it’s to comment on the technique of a player – who is invariably a pianist. But with The Lark, Copenhagen-based keyboardist Søren Gemmer is after more complexity than mixing formalist technique with an inspired groove.

Ken Waxman,

The music is an open form modern European Jazz, based on melodic themes but incorporating rhythmic irregularities, odd meters and group improvisation, which together create a wonderfully weird tonal experience. The decision to use condensed, relatively short pieces turns this album into an emotional rollercoaster, with themes, rhythms and splintered interplays somehow making a perfect musical sense. A few intimate piano solo and piano / trumpet duets are also present.

Adam Baruch,

Slowly the overlapping ideas and motifs accumulate to a profound work of a mature and opinionated composer with a unique voice. Gemmer affinity with La Cour is quite impressive and both sounding as expanding each other idea, playing in almost telepathic interplay.

Eyal Hareuveni, Meet the Danes #2 - The Free Jazz Collective

What 'The Lark' shows is a most distinctive composer and player who has the strength of vision to take all the other players along with him. Sometimes stern but always compelling.

Peter Bacon,

ganz filigrane Musik, feines Interplay und eine intensive Melodik

Guenter Hottmann, hr2-kultur

Gemmer’s personality as a writer is stamped all over this set of arresting pieces that demand attention without ever shouting. The playing is effortless, always in service of the mood. An excellent set.

Mike Collins, London Jazz News

The Lark is a wonderful track that builds gradually, Gemmer's piano solo in particular setting things up admirably, allowing La Cour to release the tension just before the three minute mark. It is no exaggeration to say that the piece and the solo stand comparison with the likes of the late Kenny Wheeler, and the only complaint is I'd have liked it to go on longer.
This is a well-balanced album that makes for a satisfying listen. The mood can be brooding and intense, yet still open enough to shift and to allow some romance into the mix. [...] Gemmer has assembled a band that is both technically excellent and where the musicians also appear to enjoy playing together. This, alongside the high quality of the recording, contributes to the sense of space and dynamics in the music and makes for a highly enjoyable piece of modern jazz. Highly recommended.

Phil Barnes, All About Jazz

An attention to the flow of melody prevails. The musicians are unfolding Gemmers intelligent contemporary jazz compositions. It’s the kind of jazz that’s ripe with detail. Gemmer puts forth a range of ideas and succeeds in tying them together. [...] Søren Gemmers The Lark is a very strong and recommendable album. An album, that builds upon the debut, yet appears as something new and different.

Niels Overgård, Jazznyt

Die Besetzung ist offensichtlich bestens aufeinander eingespielt. Zwischen intensiv und entspannt, schräg und harmonisch ein gelungener Balanceakt. Kaufen.