Bassist-composer Anne Mette Iversen is among the jazz artists associated with the Brooklyn Jazz Underground and the associated BJU records has just issued Milo Songs. Performed by her Quartet with her on bass, John Ellis on tenor sax and clarinet, Danny Grissett on piano and Otis Brown III on drums, the seven compositions on this album grew from a melody her son made up at the age of 2, and the recording is an affirmation and her celebration of her successfully juggling motherhood and being a professional jazz musician. She explains that the titles of her compositions indicate her intent that each tells stories of a child’s life such as the turbulence of a new sibling in the home, the ability to focus on something seemingly unimportant to others, the fantasy world, dreams shared with mom in the morning and more.
Whatever the particular employment of Milo’s song in a specific composition, the seven years of having played together is reflected in the interplay among the quartet. The performances flow organically as on the opening The Terrace, on which Ellis displays a full tenor sound as Grissett dances around him, while Brown adds percussive accents and Iversen anchors the quartet before Grissett takes a strong solo. From the somewhat romantic feel of The Terrace the mood shifts on the The Storm. This opens as a heated dialogue between Ellis and Grissett before Brown and Iversen join in to vigorously frame the pair’s call and response with each other. Then Grissett launches into his high energy solo followed by some vigorous tenor sax.
Drum Dreams, with Ellis on clarinet, has a meditative tone to it and both Grissett and Ellis display restraint while Iversen’s bass provides a strong axis for the performance. Brown takes a solo here that is an extension of the performance. There is a playful lyricism displayed on Trains & Chocolate, and a latin tinge to the animated Milo’s Brother. Child’s Worlds with Iversen taking a solo might be the highpoint of this excellent set with Grissett and Ellis shining as well and Brown being terrifiic in pushing this performance forward.
For more information on this excellent recording (including ordering information), check out the BJU Records website, www.bjurecords.com and Anne Mette Iversen’s own website, www.annemetteiversen.com.
As I write this I note that the Anne Mette Iversen Quartet is scheduled to celebrate the release of this at An Die Musik in Baltimore on Friday, June 24 and at Twin’s Jazz in Washington DC on Wednesday June 29.
I received this from a publicist for this release.