This second album from rising Norwegian saxophone star Marius Neset show off all of the aspects of his playing and compositional styles which have enabled his ascent in the European Jazz scene.
On all tracks, the angular melodies, long, flowing runs and long, solo passages all flow smoothly frim under his fingers, whilst supported by an expert rhythm section. Neset’s Tenor and Soprano playing here alludes to his wide range of influences- from Michael Brecker to Stravinsky. The playing is inventive and experimental in places, whilst retaining a style which harks back to earlier players, providing a range of sounds and using repeated passages overlapped with each other to create exciting soundscapes- as can be seen from the immediately compelling title track Birds, which shows off all of the wide technical skills of Neset’s playing and those of his quartet.
The album contains a good balance of more aggressive tracks such as Boxing, and lighter, more flowing numbers like Reprise.
The invention and originality of Neset’s playing seems to leap out of the speakers and definitely compels you to listen to the album over and over again.