Edition are the closest UK label to model themselves on ECM: close your eyes and Slow Eastbound Train in a blindfold test could easily be mistaken for the output of the German label whose sound is now widely considered by many as practically a genre.
Essentially chamber music with an improvised side to it, very well recorded in Oslo and Trondheim studios in Norway during late-March last year this is far better than tuba player-trumpeter Herskedal’s previous Edition release Neck of the Woods, a duo with his former label mate Marius Neset good though that was.
Piano (played by Eyolf Dale) suits the monumental tones and breathtaking overdubbed musical vistas of the Copenhagen-based leader. And with added strings from the Trondheim Soloists and some extra percussion too from Helge Andreas Norbakken this is much more ambitious.
You’ll find mostly Herskedal’s compositions here with a little Mussorgsky thrown in for good measure. Not conventional jazz by any stretch of the imagination – some might even contend it’s not jazz at all as the musical language shares much more in common with classical music – regardless there’s plenty here to savour especially when for instance Dale escapes from the neat tunes and explores freer territory on the Easternisms of ‘Monsoon Coming.’ Pretty as a picture in its melodicism and rhythmic ingenuity Slow Eastbound Train is worth waiting a few extra minutes on the platform for. SG
Released in April
Opening track ‘The Mistral Noir,’ above