Arild Andersen, Daniel Sommer, and Rob Luft’s As Time Passes

cover, As Time PassesA seasoned veteran working a date with talented younger artists is a trope almost as old as jazz music itself. It finds one of its most delightful recent expressions in this ecstatic album anchored by leading Norwegian bassist Arild Andersen, accompanied by Danish drummer Daniel Sommer and London guitarist Rob Luft. As Time Passes is a thoroughly enjoyable guitar trio recording by three players in obvious synchronization.

Actually this is Sommer’s project, the first chapter of the drummer’s planned Nordic trilogy on April Records, with three carefully curated ensembles. This outing opens airy, textural, uplifting title track penned by Luft and closes with the gnarly jazz-rock fusion of Sommer’s “A Day In March.” After a lengthy rubato passage, “As Time Passes” opens up into Luft’s delicate melody, the ethereal nature of the tune emphasized by the deft use of pedals and loops; it’s a technique used throughout, giving a layered sound that sometimes called to mind Jakob Bro’s panoply of effects. This track is exactly the kind of airy, textural, expressive, emotive and uplifting Euro jazz I adore.

But every one of these eight tracks has something going for it. The three share composition credits pretty equally, and all three are so generous with their trio mates that for the most part it doesn’t matter who’s the composer. Bassist Andersen does take the lead on the brooding melody of his “Fifth Winter,” but almost immediately begins a sequential swapping of leads with Luft as Sommer provides splashes of color and texture. And Anderson turns in a blistering bass solo on Luft’s “North Wind,” which has a real 70s soul jazz vibe.

The deliberate blues of the first single “Meditation” separates my two favorites. It’s preceded by Andersen’s “Basslines,” which finds Luft mirroring Andersen’s funky bass melody (driven along by Sommer’s propulsive kit work). And it’s followed by the flowing folk jazz of Andersen’s “Evening Song,” which has shades of the Americana influences of Frisell and Scofield. This one has more of the stellar interplay between guitar and bass, this time with Andersen taking the melody and Luft interjecting wah-wahs and piercing stabs. Finally, Sommers’ shape-shifting “A Day in March” opens dark and gloomy, before segueing into a colorful, chiming melodic excursion through a tapestry of textures, including Luft pulling some John Abercrombie out of his bag of tricks on the final chorus.

Now atmospheric, now propulsive, deeply melodic and with creative improvisation, As Time Passes is a superb release. I’m eagerly anticipating chapters two and three of Sommers’ trilogy.

(April Records, 2024)

| Daniel Sommer Website | Facebook |

| Arild Andersen Website | Facebook |

| Rob Luft Website | Facebook | Instagram |

Gary Whitehouse

A fifth-generation Oregonian, Gary is a retired journalist and government communicator. Since the 1990s he has been covering music, books, food & drink and occasionally films, blogs and podcasts for Green Man Review. His main literary interests for GMR are science fiction, music lore, and food & cooking. A lifelong lover of music, his interests are wide ranging and include folk, folk rock, jazz, Americana, classic country, and roots based music from all over the world. He also enjoys dogs, birding, cooking, craft beer, and coffee.

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