Torben Waldorff: Squealfish




Torben Waldorff (guitar)


Afterburn (ArtistShare AS 0078)

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Torben Waldorff (guitar),

Donny McCaslin (tenor sax), Sam Yahel (piano, Fender Rhodes, organ), Matt Clohesy (bass), Jon Wikan (drums, percussion)


Composed by Joel Miller


Recorded: New York, December 27-28, 2007


Rating: 84/100 (learn more)

The young Danish guitarist Torben Waldorff runs this catchy "Squealfish" through some relentless high-octane paces to create a compelling piece of music. The able assistance of drummer Wikan and bassist Clohesy keeps the rhythm of this weaving composition steady and always pushing forward. The singsong melody proceeds in a scalar form with synchronous playing by former Steps Ahead tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin matching the notes of Waldorff's guitar in unison. Pianist Sam Yahel takes a nice solo turn before McCaslin and Waldorff again play a series of complex duet lines that twist and turn along their orchestrated path, all the while backed by the rhythm and Yahel's pleasantly placed climbing chords. This bespeaks an accomplished piece of musicianship and simpatico. McCaslin creates an urgent sound on his horn, and Waldorff plays his guitar with a soft and muted tone so the juxtaposition of sounds works nicely together. When Waldorff solos, his guitar lines undulate smoothly and proficiently, yet his explorations feel like they are circling the music from the outside, probing until he can find the proper entry point within the proceedings, like an airplane waiting to be queued into a landing. When he does reenter the formation with McCaslin, he is immediately able to find his stride and meld beautifully. The song fades away in a final change of time.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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