Review of “Live!” by Terje Mosnes.

A lot of great reviews are coming in, and they will be translated an posted on the review page on the top menu!
Here is the latest one by Terje Mosnes:

Published 02.09.14 by Terje Mosnes for

Their debut album «Resection» (Bolage) was released in 2011. The following year came «Göteborg» (Gigafon), and now Thomas Johansson (cornet), Kristoffer Berre Alberts (sax), Ola Høyer (double bass), and Gard Nilssen (drums) just released Cortex´ first live album. The record is released at the portuguese cutting edge label Clean Feed, is called «Live!», and is a recording of a live concert at National Jazz Scene Victoria in Oslo, september 2013.

If the album should trigger a déja vu amongst the Cortex listeners, it`s because four of the seven Johansson compositions on «Live!» also exists as studio versions on «Resection» and «Göteborg». That makes little difference, studios and stages are different sizes for Cortex as for every other band, and «Live!» presents the instant dimension quivering at the fullest.
In example, Johansson finishes the eight minute long «Interlude» and starts of «Hub» with a cornet solo on the verge of spontaneous combustion, and Alberts also have a pretty outgoing and inspiring day at work with strong solos in different colors. The two horns sends of horn bullets which more than picks humbly on Atomic colleagues Ljungkvist/Broo´s sleeves, and in these sections bassist Høyer and drummer Nilssen sounds more like a rocket launcher than a straight rhythm section. In other moments they settle with filling the bottom of the sound in a more traditional driving way, yet always ongoing and flexible, with a strong presence.
The 60`s constellation of Coleman/Cherry, and the much later Zorn/Douglas line up is often mentioned as a reference for the interplay between Alberts and Johansson. That tends to makes sense, mostly sound wise, but i find the original, organic changes between striking, almost naiv melodics and super complex, but yet completely logic abstractions of Ornette Coleman as a stronger reference for Alberts and Johansson, as heard in the version of «Endorphin».
It is a saying, that «everyone stands on the shoulders of their precursors». There is undoubtedly some trumpet/cornet players standing on top of each other between the shoulders of Buddy Bolden, and the feet of Thomas Johansson, but maybe fewer than one might first assume. There is much blues in him and his Cortex colleagues, and it is notable through hip harmonizations and rhythmic kicks. Cortex, in all, covers much of the jazz tradition, old and modern, in their musical web. And even stronger than the nice «Göteborg», «Live!» shows a band which now establishes themselves on a high level on which especially the view downwards is becoming quite good.

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