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Igor Lunder Sextet by Igor Lunder Sextet

The music on the initial cut entitled ‘Jazz-Menu 1’ begins ominously as if the fog is slowly rolling in and one is trying to find their bearings in the mist of uncertainty. It is dark, stilted and has a feeling of cold steel. But after a few enticing moments, it eases into something conventional. The mist is gone and that menacing pulse is replaced by something even colder. It becomes so sober that it is unfortunately devoid of much feeling.

As with ‘Jazz-Menu 1’, so goes the rest of the album entitled "Igor Lunder Sextet.". The music is pleasant enough and played well by this group of talented young musicians from Slovenia and Serbia. Each of the cuts is played sharply, but the overall sense is that there is not much coherent passion. The result is that this album sounds a bit ponderous and, at times, lifeless. But not always. There are moments.

There is a lovely guitar introduction by Igor Lunder on ‘O.K., No O.K.’ which he then is joined by Matjas Mikuletic on trombone who plays in a somber way that feels like someone is stuck of self-doubt and there is no way out. But, then the drums and bass move in and again it sounds like something called jazz that they should be playing as opposed to something that they really feel they ought to play. Or at least it seems that way. But in the last sections of this tune, Lunder has a terrifically nuanced solo that for the two or three minutes is masterful. Now if he and his band could sustain that passion and virtuosity this would be an incredible debut album.

On ‘Urdynek Hutnex Musili Ustrek,’ there is an intriguing drum solo. Dusan Novakov’s solo is jagged and yet sleek, but serves as an introduction to an otherwise conventional piece. You think the same thing will happen on "Jazz-Menu 2,’ with Lunder providing the introduction, but the result is seemingly better. Just as there is an interesting interaction and twist and turn of the horn instruments, Lunder plays an extended solo which is meandering. They’ve got the parts down, now if they can tighten the arrangements, they will have something very provocative.

‘Cap Bop’ feels like an addendum to the album. Unlike the intriguing pieces and the extended banality, this tune is something entirely different. It is happy, jaunty and swings. It is the sunshine that finally burns away all the fog. This the one tune that the band pulls all the parts together.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Igor Lunder Sextet
  • CD Title: Igor Lunder Sextet
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2004
  • Record Label: Independent
  • Tracks: Jazz-Menu 1, 69, O.K. No K, Urddynek Hutnex Musilli Ustrek, Jazz Menu 2, Zakaj/Why/, Cab Bop
  • Musicians: Marko Djordjevic (trumpet, Flugelhorn), Igor Lumpert (tenor saxophone), Matjas Mikuletic (trombone), Igor Lunder (guitar), Milan Nikolic (bass), Dusan Novakov (drums)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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