Nils Wogram Septet: Complete Soul

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5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Nils Wogram Septet
LABELS: NWO Records
ALBUM TITLE: Nils Wogram Septet: Complete Soul
WORKS: Complete Soul
PERFORMER: Nils Wogram (trombone), Claudio Puntin (clarinet), Matthias Schriefl (trumpet), Frank Speer, Tilman Ehrhorn (sax) etc
CATALOGUE NO: NWOGCD004

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Nils Wogram is an accomplished, inventive soloist and a fine composer and arranger, whose writing can stand alongside masters of orchestral texture like bandleaders Duke Ellington, Bill Evans and Charles Mingus.

The title track evokes a parcel of styles without merely mimicking them. Harnessing the spirit of a New Orleans marching band as its backbone, it patches in echoes of free jazz, blues, funk and bebop: indeed, there’s a section resembling ‘A Night in Tunisia’. It’s followed by ‘Varunaprya’, which opens with freely intertwining melodic lines from clarinet and bass-clarinet before Wogram enters with a pedal tone preparing the way for the other horns to build a pulsing figure behind an atmospheric trumpet passage.

The disc is an enthralling adventure in colour, rhythm and the interaction between composition and improvisation. While rightly praising Wogram’s chord charts, one shouldn’t overlook the improvisations: there isn’t a dud among them.

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Barry Witherden