Diverted Travels

COMPOSERS: Jon Balke
LABELS: ECM
PERFORMER: Jon Balke & Magnetic North Orchestra
CATALOGUE NO: 981879-1

Advertisement

The eight members of Jon Balke’s Magnetic North Orchestra include bass and two percussionists, but add trumpet, sax, two violins and Balke’s keyboards, and there’s an ensemble with a surely unique sound.

Woodsy textures and the thrumming of palms and fingers on drumskins are blended with the sharp chatter of horns, the leader’s needle-fine piano commentaries and a faint background burble of electronics.

Advertisement

As the album’s title suggests, the 14 pieces make up a fascinating journey. This music was one of the highlights of ECM’s Austrian festival last year, and it has transferred to CD quite beautifully.