Mark Solborg: guitar; Herb Robertson: trumpet.
Mark Solborg, a distinctive Danish/Argentine guitarist with a quirky sound, and Herb Robertson, an American trumpeter known for his free-mindedness and avant-garde punches, joined at Koncertkirken, an old church located in downtown Copenhagen, to fully embrace this duo recording.
The performance occurred on a Tuesday evening in 2014, and the album got the appropriate title of Tuesday Prayers. This worshiping music is celebrated through a variety of forms: fresh contemporary psalms, supplicant hymns, and fervorous invocations.
Solborg and Robertson already had recorded an album together in 2009 entitled Nod.
“The Flute” was the ideal choice to open. It’s a cute short piece in which Robertson plays a pennywhistle, a six-holed woodwind instrument typical from UK and Ireland. The shrill sounds in addition to the beautiful dissonances of Solborg’s guitar, takes us to distant and impenetrable Asian forests.
In “I Know You”, Robertson enters with the same determination, this time on trumpet. He spreads that characteristic sound that populated many albums from the alternative jazz scene of the 80's and 90's, not only as a leader but also as a sideman of accomplished authors like Satoko Fujii, Gerry Hemingway, Mark Helias, Marc Ducret, and Tim Berne. Here, his authoritative phrasing finds the perfect accompaniment in Solborg’s string bends and devoted chords.
We are taken into another stratosphere in “Hymn”, a sort of Indian reverence that combines expressive trumpet murmurs with dotted guitar notes.
The longest tune of the record is the title track, a sometimes-burbling, sometimes-contemplative 17-minute exultation whose abstraction is increased through a trumpet solo that oscillates between hoarse and strident, and the subsequent unruffled textures delivered by the guitarist.
“Shout, Landscape and Goodbyes” offers exactly what the title suggests. While Robertson fierily shouts complex melodic lines at first, Solborg joins him later, maintaining an active layer of distortion while exploring possible melodies.
The ones who pray have their methods and rituals, and Solborg and Robertson also found their own. There’s a transcendental harmony that surrounds them and facilitates the attainment of a perfect balance.
02 – I Know You ► 03 – Hymn ► 04 – Tuesday Prayers