With This Is My House, Brooklyn-based bassist/composer Anne Mette Iversen delivers a stunning collection of original progressive jazz, bursting with lively melodies, intricate ensemble interplay and high-flying improvisations. With the aid of tenor saxophonist John Ellis, pianist Danny Grissett and drummer Otis Brown III, Iversen’s music negotiates an exquisite balance between seriousness and unbridled joy. There is an overriding spirit of optimism that pervades the entire session.
Iversen’s bass playing is powerful, yet supportive. Her warm tone and bouncy lines seem to bring out the flavor of each tune while providing a comfortable jolt for her band mates. She solos with restrained passion on "Dear Captain" and "Den Flade," manipulating the entire range of the bass to create highly melodic, vocal-like lines.
As a composer Iversen carves out an emotive landscape with sophistication and an abundance of melody. The high spirited "Where to Place the House" starts things out with driving exuberance, "And Off They Went" and "HM#1" are reminiscent of saxophonist Wayne Shorter's compositions from the 1960s, and "Loisaida" combines a bluesy groove with dark-toned harmonies.
The tight ensemble sound is one of a true quartet of collaborators who are able to anticipate each other’s every move. Each of Iversen’s sidemen brings to the session a distinctive personality that blends effortlessly into a unique musical flavor. Ellis has a deceptively laid-back approach on the tenor; his cushiony tone coats an unbounded fluidity. Grissett plays fiery, aggressive piano solos and comps with taste. Brown plays with sensitivity and an enormous dynamic range his solo on "Up," the disc's raucous closer, is a highlight of the session.