THE WAY AHEAD (ROLIGHETEN / ALBERTS / BARNO / ALEKLINT / STAHL / HOYER / OSTVANG) — Bells, Ghosts And Other Saints (review)

THE WAY AHEAD (ROLIGHETEN / ALBERTS / BARNO / ALEKLINT / STAHL / HOYER / OSTVANG) — Bells, Ghosts And Other Saints album cover Album · 2018 · Avant-Garde Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
snobb
The Way Ahead is a new Nordic mini-big band in a tradition of popular co-patriots Angles. Their debut's title says a lot about the source of inspiration - "Bells" and "Ghosts" are well known Albert Ayler compositions, and (Marching)"Saints" are both Ayler spirit and his music roots.

Similarly as "Angles" a decade ago (who grew up from sextet till nonet in few years), "The Way Ahead" are a brass-section centered septet with vibist playing heavy-brass arranged soulful compositions in a manner of marching bands. The main difference is Angles's source of inspiration were Balkan rhythms and Serbian Guča Trumpet Fest folk marching bands style, The Way Ahead are inspired by Albert Ayler interpretation of early New Orleans marching bands jazz.

Both play music without trying to sound authentic - both bands' starting point and interpretation method is free jazz first of all. Similarity in sound isn't accidental though - trombonist Mats Aleklint and vibist Mattias Stahl are members of both projects. Swedish trumpeter Niklas Barnö is a member of another extremely successful and influential modern Swedish progressive big band Fire! Orchestra (led by Mats Gustafsson).

No strange that having such genes new project from their very first release sound as very professional and matured collective. They don't try to sound as raw as Ayler or original early New Orleans marching bands, instead they uses their legacy producing more rounded European sound still having lot of fun but partially attracting more sophisticated listener.

"Bells,Ghosts And Other Saints" doesn't sound revolutionary, it is an evolutionary continuation of Angles/Fire! Orchestra works which most probably will attract fans of both above mentioned bands.
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