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Records International, March 2020

Davidsen’s music draws heavily on jazz—not least in his incorporation of improvisation from his collaborators in his otherwise notated scores—but also on a range of modern styles and techniques from concert music. In very general terms, an amalgam of jazz and popular idioms with the confrontational style of Louis Andriessen and the pulsating energy of the Bang on a Can composers underlies much of the music, but extended and noise textures, whether derived from the avant-garde or avant-garde jazz, also spice up the mixture. © 2020 Records International Read complete review

David Denton
David's Review Corner, February 2020

Born in Denmark in 1969, Jakob Davidsen’s youthful inclinations were to become part of progressive jazz, but later moved to include formal compositional studies.

The result has been to mix jazz improvisation with the influences from the world of classical music. It has certainly found favour with the Danish music establishment who have displayed their high esteem with a series of national awards. On this very short disc—it lasts 40 minutes—we can enter that diversionary world in Verden er Babel Og Elfen (The World is Babel and Ivory), a score premiered in January 2017 for voice and small instrumental ensemble. It takes its words from poems of Ursula Andkjaer Olsen, one of Denmark’s most highly regarded contemporary poets. They have been used in the order they appear in the Third Millennium Heart, Davidsen’s work taking its title from the fifth poem. So we begin by looking for the import and meaning of the words even before coming to terms with Davidsen’s use of jazz and classics. Framing his score are two short pieces, Cruel to be kind, with words by William Shakespeare, and Closer, to a poem by Ole Sarvig. The performers, with Signe Asmussen as the mezzo-soprano soloist, are familiar exponents of Danish music today and are entrusted with the premiere’s of its most important composers, the present disc being, appropriately, all World Premiere Recordings. With the composer as the Recording Producer, these are benchmark performances in high sound quality. © 2020 David’s Review Corner

Lynn René Bayley
The Art Music Lounge, January 2020

One of the interesting things about the opening selection, Cruel to Be Kind, is that most of it is quiet music with a bit of an edge. Another interesting thing is that there is a fairly lengthy trombone solo which, though probably written out, sounds improvised and has the contours of a jazz solo. The World is Babel and Ivory, a work in six movements, follows a similar pattern, albeit with more music for mezzo-soprano and more frequent sharp, jagged outbursts by the trumpet. In the first movement, in fact, the trombone (now muted) returns for a solo, and this time there are trumpet-clarinet-voice rhythmic interjections. This much is very interesting… © 2020 The Art Music Lounge Read complete review

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