Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Phronesis concert review

Anton, Me, Jasper, Ivo
Last night I went to see the European jazz trio Phronesis at the Heliconian Hall as part of the Toronto Jazz Festival. It was a free concert. I have featured Phronesis as song of the day a few years ago. My friend had never heard of them. He depends on my knowledge. First, Phronesis is the Greek word for wisdom. The trio Phronesis has been hailed as the most exciting jazz group since the death of Esbjorn Svensson. They record for Edition Records and their latest CD The Behemoth was recorded with the Frankfurt Big Band. But mostly they have recorded as a trio since 2005. Bassist Jasper Hoiby is from Denmark. He moved to London in 2001 to study at the Royal Academy of Music. That's where he met British pianist Ivo Neame who was also studying there. Drummer Anton Eger was born in Norway and lives in Sweden. Hoiby told me they are considering moving to the US. This was their first trip to Toronto. Though sometimes piano trios can be laid back to the point of cocktail jazz, one of the things I like about Phronesis is they play with plenty of energy driven by Eger's aggressive drumming. Because I had heard them before, I knew what they would be like. The Heliconian Hall has a capacity of 124 and it looked mostly full. European jazz tends to have a different vibe from American jazz. it's not better or worse, just different. I think that's one of the reasons Phronesis is considering moving to the US. They can pick up new influences especially in New York City. It was a 90 minute concert but it didn't seem that long. That's always a good sign. I thought they were great and they got two standing ovations. I spoke to Jasper afterwards and that's when we took the above picture. Phronesis is still on a North American tour. I think they are at the upcoming Montreal Jazz Festival. They will return to Europe in a couple of weeks. Check them out if they are coming your way.

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