Monday, March 18, 2013

Fusk: Super Kasper

Fusk (group)
Super Kasper (Why Play Jazz; 2013)

Philipp Gropper (sax)
Rudi Mahall (bass clarinet)
Andreas Lang (Bass)
Kasper Tom Christiansen (drums)

So, a few years ago I reviewed the debut album from Fusk. A rich combination of hard bop and free jazz. The quartet have finally returned with their follow up, Super Kasper. And I have to say, this is a massive step forward. Challenging chords, imaginative thinking and superb performances. Super Kasper is a more mature and effective record than its predecessor. And that's what you want to see in a band--right?

"Music Eins Punkt Null" and "Lauft" open playfully but both illustrating an adventurous spirit. Mahall and Lang provide a forceful bottom up approach that allows Gropper and Christiansen to mold different tones through. Especially on "Lauft." Both pieces are a survey in sound structures and where they will go next. It's beautiful to hear how each instrument interacts with the next note.

I enjoyed the swirling nature on the first half of "Suburbia Surreal." It's hypnotic and abstract but soon levels out into almost blues-like structures. Very nicely done and crafty. "Led Right, Gleen Right" adds a little humour to the proceedings. Another rolling piece that doesn't complicate the melody but does show the complexity of musicians and ongoing kinship to each other.

The real thing that struck me from the first listen to Super Kasper was how many times I kept coming back to the record throughout the first week I got it. Fusk is a quartet of veteran musicians. But a quartet that has matured in its compositions and performances faster than you would expect. I really really loved this record. And it will be one of my best of albums of the year. Highly Recommended!

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