Review: a new era of jazz

24. April 2014
Jorge Poveda

Marius Neset Quartet is a new sensation of European jazz scene. They are simply a fresh breath of air. Well-known in Norway, Marius Neset is being compared with Jan Garbarek

Since the start of this year’s Jazzkaar, Marius Neset is the best live performance I’ve seen. The other members of his band are extraordinary energetic, talented and delightful to listen.

The drummer Anton Eger offers an exquisite technique on drums combining all kinds of percussion elements. Elegant sounds with sticks and cymbals, combined with fast parts and energetic performance. He is one of the best drummers I’ve seen for a while. He uses precision, solos ability and improvisation capacity with an amazing staging, overacting all the time but expressing the audience that the concert is more than alive.

The concert started with Marius Neset on the soprano saxophone creating words from music notes and a beautiful background contrabass and piano tunes were delighting the audience. Suddenly the registry changed to some accelerated melodies and potent changes guided by the energetic drummer and contrabassist. It was the beginning of an entertaining evening of good jazz. 

After this introduction the audience started to cheer and acclaim the band, knowing the event will be worth it. The tunes played were mostly from Neset’s last album Birds (2013) – a unique compilation of musical creations inviting the listener to travel through the music. Songs like Birds, Boxing or Fanfare were played with the virtuosity of Marius Neset – showing his skills changing between alto and soprano saxophone – and his Quartet with all the instruments. The second song ended with some epic breakdowns that made everybody flow.

After the second song Marius Neset announced a brand new song for next album. It was full of power, energy and emotion. Using both saxophones he made beautiful lyrics through the music notes, also intercalating with fresh parts of piano, contrabass and drums while Neset was taking a breath.

There was also time for good romantic jazz ballads. The scenery turned red and the drummer and the contrabassist abandoned the stage for a moment and all the lights were focused on the excellent pianist Ivo Neame, and on Marius Neset. A calming, relaxing atmosphere impregnated the venue and converted it into a massive romantic date with the solos of Neset and piano down tempo melodies. 

After those lovely moments, the rest of the members came back to the stage to offer the audience the most energetic song of the concert. Impressive solos from all of the members, especially from Anton Eger that tousled his previously tidy hairstyle playing with high power, and the contrabassist Petter Eldh following with amazing skills the rhythms. 

The whole audience was still excited and started to clap and make noise. The ovation made the band came back to the stage. Everyone wanted more as it wasn’t enough with the previous demonstration of talent, and they knew it. The band looked amazed with the warm reception from the audience. 

The last song was from the first album Golden Xplosion (2011) titled Angel of the North. It was the best ending they could do for their performance. In conclusion, Marius Neset Quartet is something that every good music lover has to feel in their flesh, heart and brains. Musical poetry and awesome live performance.

Marius Neset Quartet

April 22 at Marina Pavilion

Marius Neset (saxophone),

Ivo Neame (piano),

Anton Eger (drums),

Petter Eldh (contrabass).