Malija – The Day I Had Everything (Edition records)


"Malija are a drummerless trio comprising Polar Bear saxophonist Mark Lockheart, Phronesis double-bassist Jasper Høiby, and the versatile Liam Noble. The three know each other’s work well (they came together in 2009 as part of the quintet on Lockheart’s In Deep album) but though they share a wavelength, this collaboration sounds strikingly fresh. Noble’s Blues warps regular blues harmony for Lockheart to muse quietly over; Squared is a jaunty bluegrassy jangle; Almost a Tango a bass and piano strut that tugs the saxophonist in and out of free jazz. One for Us is a ballad on which Lockheart adopts a feline, Stan Getzian sound, which he also unfurls around the luxurious sweeps of the Ligeti String Quartet on this set’s one classically angled piece. Høiby and Noble keep such emphatic grooves rolling that the absence of a drummer is barely noticeable, and the solos are terrific. The pleasure of this trio in their close relationship is infectiously evident all over the set.”

John Fordham, The Guardian **** ( 4 Stars)

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