Phronesis ‘Walking dark’ (Edition) 4/5

With this their fourth album and a follow up to the critically acclaimed ‘Alive’ album from 2010, Phronesis return with another beautifully crafted release that at least in terms of the equal distribution of roles between the trio’s constituent members, merits parallels with the Bill Evans trio. The trio were formed in 2005 when Danish bassist Jasper Hølby settled in London and the regular set up of British pianist Ivo Neame and Swedish drummer Anton Eger are back for an enthralling re-instalment and one that was actually recorded in Copenhagen. This begins with the shuffling beat on drums and driving bass of the incredibly catchy ‘Suede trees’ while ‘The economist is bursting with energy from its introduction and there is a flurry of activity. Possibly the finest ensemble playing is reserved for last with ‘Eight hours’ a perfect summation of the trio at this point in time while the sheer simplicity of style on the surface is evidenced on the lovely ‘Upside down’. For a more contemplative side to the trio, ‘Passing clouds’ fits the bill to perfection. Having already performed alongside the Wayne Shorter quartet, Phronesis have definitely sampled the pantheon of jazz musicians and are comfortable in such esteemed company. Their extensive UK tour in May following on from European dates promises to be one of the year’s live highlights. Tim Stenhouse

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