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Albatrosh

Yonkers

(Rune Grammofon; US: 6 Dec 2011)

Albatrosh are a Norwegian duo that gets filed under “jazz” by default. Pianist Eyolf Dale and saxophonist André Roligheten, friends and musical partners since their teen years, have fashioned a brand of music that has a progressive, yet soft, bent to it. You can’t really argue that it swings and you certainly can’t get away with calling it obediently tonal background music. But unlike its representation on YouTube, there is a steamrolled feeling to Yonkers that robs it of the attention it likely deserves. Dale and Roligheten claim to have felt a sense of magic when these tunes were recorded late one night in a Yonkers studio, and we all know that all-nighters can have a magic of their own. However, the glory in the moment here is more reliant on the duo’s precise and professional musicianship, and it isn’t until track five (“Linedance”, which, gloriously, sounds nothing like its title) of an eight-song album that an alarming spark arrives.

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