Ibrahim Electric ‘The Marathon Concert’ 2CD (Stunt) 4/5

Danish jazz is enjoying something of a new flowering and to prove the point this double live CD that captures one of the grooviest trios in the capital Copenhagen. The hammond organ trio combines elements of blues, funk, Afro-Beat and even surf guitar, and yet still come across as a cohesive whole. What is truly remarkable is that the music contained within is but a small part of the six hours they performed for at the Veega music venue on 8 July 2016. It must have been an awfully long evening for band and audience alike, but an immensely enjoyable one all the same.
The trio were formed in 2002 and are well travelled, having toured both Canada and China. They are made up of guitarist Niclas Knudsen, Hammond B3 organist Jeppe Tuxen, who sounds as though he has listened to plenty of Charles Earland and Big John Patton, and drummer Stefan Pasborg.
Clavinet is featured on the highly creative tribute to the king of Afro-Beat and it is wonderful how the band with just a trio manage to capture that densely layered Afro-Beat sound with clipped guitar riff and drums all contributing. A most inventive take.
This writer warmed to the understated blues-infused groove of, ‘Funny games’, with a rocked-tinged guitar solo.

Riff-laden numbers predominate and subsequently the pieces are relatively short, averaging four and a half minutes, and the longest piece is only, seven and a half minutes long. Audience participation merely adds to the fun atmosphere with clapping on, ‘Der alte das boot’, where the Hammond takes centre stage. Who would have expected surf guitar to come into the mix, yet that is precisely what happens on the intriguingly titled, ‘African boogaloo’, and on the surf meets Chicago blues sounding, ‘Big boss’, which is a groovy little ditty for sure. Definitely a group to watch out for and younger jazz fans will enjoy the combination of rock guitar with funky drum beats.

Tim Stenhouse