Box of Monkeys - Haftor Medbøe Group
Guitarist Haftor Medbøe is a familiar face on the Scottish music scene, and leads a largely home-based group with a decidedly international flavour, drawing on musicians with Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, Australian, Polish and Scottish cultural roots. This five-track mini-album continues the Group’s explorations of the interface between contemporary jazz, pop and club music, with Anneke Kampman’s winsome vocals and the drum programming of Gavin Hislop (aka Babyshaker) added to the mix this time round.
The most striking jazz contributions again come from saxophonist Konrad Wiszniewski and trombonist Chris Greive, augmented by Medbøe’s own fluent guitar work and underpinned by bassist Eva Melling and percussionist Signy Jakobsdottir. Personal preference steers me to the instrumentals especially the powerful opening track, ‘Pneumatic’ – rather than the vocal offerings, but it is all part of his signature genre-crossing approach. (Available from www.fabrikant-records.net)