With a series of portraits fleshed out in melodic lines The Lark
unites personal experience and collective modern jazz exploration. The second release from pianist and composer, Søren Gemmer, presents an elaboration on the trademark melodicism displayed on the internationally acclaimed debut album.
The album is the follow-up release to the highly successful At First
that received widespread critical acclaim for its blend of modern jazz and a fascination of late-romantic classical piano music.The Lark
features five distinct voices, empathetic interplay, inspired solo efforts, spacious as well as tightly woven structures. At the heart of it all are eight compositions; pieces that while being unmistakably Gemmer-esque, manifest an unwillingness to resort to established formulas. Gemmer explains:
“My previous excursion was predominantly chordal and high on ‘vibe’ with a wealth of musical spaces for the players to inhabit. For this one, I had to produce melodies with enough integrity to stand by themselves. This change in emphasis came from my intention to portray a series of persons that have been part of my social reality in the last few years.” Gemmer has committed to a linear approach throughout the majority of the compositions. Straight, angular, lyrical or crude lines abound within the songs, and they are all inspired by ‘certain someones’:
“Perhaps late to the party, I have come to realize that music really doesn’t come from music. Also, I have in recent years experienced, for better or worse, the dependencies and relations that employ the young adult, and so decided to give a respectful nod, a show of gratitude and words of advise to a series of people dear to me, however far or near, by portraying them in melody.”
Gemmer chose to add another collaborator to his main group for The Lark
Trumpet and flügelhorn player Mads La Cour is featured on four compositions and two duo improvisations and graces the album with his trademark blend of lyricism and erratic extroversion.
Per Møllehøj, Tapani Toivanen, and Andreas Fryland elevate the music on the album, just as they did on the debut release. Recording and mixing duties were handled by legendary Dutch sound engineer, Chris Weeda, providing sonic warmth and clarity.