Arild Andersen Group Improvises on “Affirmation”
Norwegian jazz bass legend Arild Andersen has documented his new quartet with a new album called Affirmation. It was recorded in late 2021 for ECM without head honcho Manfred Eicher due to Norway’s pandemic travel restrictions. Andersen planned on capturing some of his new compositions, but the second day yielded some magical improvisations.
“Although the quartet had given quite a few concerts, and we’ve played together a lot, we’d never previously done a full set of just improvising,” the band leader explains. “The idea of listening before you play is so present here, as is the way in which everybody comes up with ideas where interplay is the focus. I called the album ‘Affirmation,’ where you have to trust yourself and trust the others just as much.”
The improv sessions a 23-minute set called “Affirmation Part I” and a 14-minute set called “Affirmation Part II”. Each piece is split into smaller movements, though it’s noted they are best to listen to in full.
Andersen’s creative bass playing helps to shape the band’s approach with everything from subtle pizzicato to Arco work and even pedal-generated sounds. Take, for instance, part three of “Affirmation Part I’:
After the fully improvised works, the band performs the melodic composition “Short Story” to neatly complete the album.
Affirmation Track List:
- One (Affirmation Part I)
- Two (Affirmation Part I)
- Three (Affirmation Part I)
- Four (Affirmation Part I)
- Five (Affirmation Part II)
- Six (Affirmation Part II)
- Seven (Affirmation Part II)
- Short Story