The Phronesis trio performs The Behemoth

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COMPOSERS: Phronesis
LABELS: Edition
ALBUM TITLE: Phronesis
WORKS: The Behemoth
PERFORMER: Ivo Neame (piano), Jasper Høiby (bass), Anton Eger (drums), Frankfurt Radio Big Band/Julian Argüelles


In the golden era of big bands, small groups of key players would sometimes get together to record familiar material outside the mothership. Phronesis, a trio whose reputation has grown over the last ten years on the back of six impressive studio albums and their dynamite live shows, has done it the other way around. In an inspired move they’ve hired Julian Argüelles to re-arrange material from their back catalogue for the Frankfurt Radio Big Band (FRBB), with the trio at its centre.

The risk for Argüelles was always going to be that the energy of the originals could be dissipated. In fact he’s succeeded in making the trio the hot core of a 14-piece big band that’s on fire. Not only does the FRBB bring gorgeous brass harmonies into play, it also delivers horn players as scintillating soloists. Tenorist Argüelles himself relinquishes conducting duties briefly to stretch out on the boppy two-part ‘Urban Control’.


Garry Booth