London Odense Ensemble ‘Jaiyede Sessions Volume 1’ LP/CD (El Paraiso) 5/5

London Odense Ensemble is a five-piece collective combining established UK jazz musicians with most of the members of Danish psych-rockers, Causa Sui. London is represented by the baritone sax/flute of Tamar Osborn and Al MacSween on keys. Odense by guitarist and studio guy, Jonas Munk, drummer Jakob Skøtt and ‘multi-string instrumentalist‘ Martin Rude, who also fronts Sun River.

Recently, Skøtt and Rude released a couple of very decent albums (“The Discipline Of Assent” and “The Dichotomy Of Control”) under the moniker Martin Rude & Jacob Skøtt Duo. The modus operandi for those releases was essentially studio post-performance treatments of recorded jams of Skøtt’s drums and either Rude’s double bass or baritone guitar.

Even more recently, Osborn joined the duo (hence, Rude Skøtt Osborn Trio!) with some tasty overdubs for “The Virtue Of Temperance” and although it was similar in concept to the other two albums, there were hints to “Jaiyede Sessions Vol.1” with the affected sax and flute adding an extra dimension to the psychedelic/jazz fayre.

Droning tanpura-like sound initiates “Jaiyede Suite pt. 1” before sax, electric piano, drums and fuzzy guitar kicks in like a sort of psych-rock “Journey in Satchidananda”. The drums fade as track 1 segues into the magnificent “Jaiyede Suite pt. 2”. Osborn switches from fiery sax to soaring echo-y flute as the tune slowly builds towards a mighty heavy funky jam reminiscent of electric Miles. “Sojourner” has a trippy, sunny West Coast feel enhanced by smooth flute and MacSween’s fluid mono-synth lines. Next is the epic-length “Enter Momentum”; synth and flute trade lines as the track hits a repetitive prog-rock groove. Reverberated sax, sinuous retro-synth lines coalesce with lazily arpeggiated guitar on the valedictory “Celestial Navigation”.

We can break this music down into its parts and we get psych/prog rock, spiritual jazz, Miles’ funky fusion and proto-electronic music. These are a few of my favourite things and happily, there’s no friction between them on this record. The combination does produce some unexpected results: A pastoral raga-rock “Celestial Navigation” is transformed into a retro-futurist cosmic jam with lavish doses of electronics. The spiritual jazz vibe on ‘Jaiyede Suite pt. 1’ has an extra urgency from the crunchy power chords. “Jaiyede Sessions Vol.1” is an exciting and heady mix and I’m already looking forward to Jaiyede Sessions Vol.2.

Kevin Ward