This album by Danish bassist Anne Mette Iversen — her fifth as a leader — opens with a thrumpy bass solo: lovely, rubato, and abstractly melodic. It’s a perfect presentiment for what’s coming in the next half hour or so. To her long-running quartet — with saxophonist John Ellis, pianist Danny Grissett, and drummer Otis Brown III —Iverson adds trombonist Peter Dahlgren and the 4Corners string quartet. The strings open “Chapter One” dissonantly, sweetly, complexly, the drums a whisper more than a driver. After a pause, the strings saw brightly in unison, out of which rises Ellis’ soprano, and then the voices blend; the next transition is into a jazzier setting, the strings cradling a fleet trombone solo. “Chapter Two” first offers wonderful piano-bass contrasts. The music develops into quiet but hard-swinging post-bop, while sparsely placed strings lend some classy coloration and suspense. A dramatic violin section eight minutes in gives the feeling of stirring all of the ingredients contributed by the other musicians. Iversen and her mates have a facility with midstream transformations, in one case (during “Chapter Four”) moving into a zippy call and response between violins and drums. Iversen said she hopes “the art, the music, on this album” are strong enough to give listeners an “experience that sends them on their own personal journey.” It is indeed evocative and often riveting.
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