Henrik Jensen’s Followed by Thirteen ‘Qualia’ (Jellymould) 3/5

Danish bassist and group leader Henrik Jensen is one of a number of European musicians who have now made London their permanent home and it has added a new vibrancy to the already burgeoning London jazz scene. There is an economy of style that is admirable in this new recording from the quartet which succeeds in being both relaxed and intense at the same time. The overall feel echoes mid-1950s Miles as well as post-bop hues while other influences would include the progressive side of bop via Monk and Bud Powell. Indeed it is Monk one most readily thinks of when listening to ‘Dog of the day’ which is reminiscent of ‘Think of one’ while the delicate ballad ‘Followed by thirteen’ features the lovely trumpet playing of André Canniere who sounds akin to Terence Blanchard. An all original selection of ten pieces bodes well for the future and the shifting mid-tempo number ‘A wave goodbye’ is one of the highlights along with the gorgeous ballad ‘Schmetteling’. Best of all is the lyrical sounding ‘Milden Hall museum’ which affords Canniere the opportunity to enter into an extended solo excursion. At times the quartet in the studio has all the feel of a live performance which is a positive sign and will enable an individual group sound to emerge. Throughout there is real depth to the bass playing from Jensen. Henrik Jensen and Followed by Thirteen will be performing live dates in London during November.

Tim Stenhouse