Low-Fi teamed up with Villa Kultur for a concert that was part of the Vinterjazz program. Fredrik Lundin and his band, De Fem på nye Eventyr, took the audience on a sometimes dark and enigmatic, sometimes intense and vivid, journey.
It felt good to be back in the winter garden of Villa Kultur, this time for a Vinterjazz concert. To my surprise, the concert was not taking place in the room I was so used to—the big, bright travertine marble former-winter-garden. We wrote about some amazing concerts that took place there in the summer of 2016.
Saturday night’s host, former KW3, now named Villa Kultur, had arranged a cozy but somehow extremely spacious room that very convincingly staged as an actual living room. When I say extremely spacious I mean: armchairs and sofas for concert goers and space for a band of five. Need I mention the set of instruments, including a drum set. When I entered the room, I felt like someone was playing some mise-en-scene prank on me, so I stayed and played along.
De Fem på nye Eventyr, or Five Go Adventuring Again, is composed of the well-established Danish jazz saxophonist Fredrik Lundin, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dabrowski, Swedish trombonist Petter Hängsel and bassist Joel Illerhag, and Danish drummer Anders Provis. Although their band name got me thinking that this was going to be a happy-go-lucky jazz night, their sound adventure unraveled in a quiet dark but groovy manner.
“Although their band name got me thinking that this was going to be a happy-go-lucky jazz
night, their sound adventure unraveled in a quiet dark but groovy manner.“
The concert started on a distinctive mood that was carried by the hazy drone sounds maneuvered by Peter Hängsel, the slow rhythm set by percussions, and Dabrowski’s sad trumpet complemented by the Lundin’s saxophone. It reached a point when it sounded like a poetic ‘80s thriller.
Sitting in the first row gave me the opportunity to see what the drummer is concocting behind his tools—switching between drumsticks and jazz brushes or using rags to soften his sound, all the while keeping the atmospheric mood while emotional sad saxophone, trombone or trumpet solos unfolded individually, or energizing the songs through rhythmic beats until everyone was jazz-head banging and tapping their feet on the floor.
“…energizing the songs through rhythmic beats until everyone was jazz-head banging
and tapping their feet on the floor…“
The five of them played off each other in an effortless manner. The band’s leader Fredrik Lundin, on several occasions, joined the crowd and enjoyed one of his fellow musicians’ solos, blurring the lines between artist and audience. The proximity to the musicians also allowed my gaze (and ears) to experience details that are normally out of reach for the listener. I could hear all the breaths Tomasz Dabrowski was taking while holding a note, skillfully using circular breathing technique.
The concert was in two sets with a break in between. This format has become almost customary in the Low-Fi universe, the break allows the audience to simply get a refill or, more importantly, to talk to each other and to the musicians. It looked like both sides were enjoying that opportunity.
The second set started slow and atmospheric with Petter Hängsel using a small synth to create moody soundscapes. The others started joining one by one, bringing up the energy, eventually slowing down, only to pick it up again.
The music was washing over us like waves. Until the very last song, Prairie Dreams, which fittingly is the last song on their latest new LP and a personal favorite. I walked out in the chilly Copenhagen night dreaming of dark fairy-tales and crumbling castles on a seashore in faraway lands.