From Denmark, an above-the-radar part of the UK jazz scene for some time now on the club circuit since the guitarist moved to London just under a decade ago releasing debut album Nausicaa along the way, Kristian Borring combines here often tenderly and always thoughtfully with vibist Jim Hart, pianist Arthur Lea, bassist Mick Coady, and drummer Jon Scott. Recording these eight compositions of Borring’s at a London studio in late-2012, many of which owe much to Borring’s Metheny-like version of American pastoralism, the ensemble sound operates via quintet, quartet, or even with Lea and Hart (the latter an imaginary Gary Burton to Borring’s Metheny) dipping out on ‘Arcade Coffee Shop’, a certain persuasive intimacy opening up as the band becomes a pared down guitar trio yet retaining that atmosphere irrespective of setting. Inspired by Borring’s sense of the city, Urban Novel’s narrative is less stream-of-conscious outpouring than guitarist as acute naturalistic observer, the acoustic jazz language at this fine player’s disposal impressionistic and quite romantic at heart. The tunes though complex knit well together and there is a convincing clarity to the improvising thought processes at work that represents a strong statement of intent from an artist we’ll be hearing a lot more from with any luck in the future. SG
Released on Monday 2 June
Kristian Borring, above. Photo: Jellymould