5 - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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Review
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ADHD

5

Late-night jazz that surprises and entertains.

Words by
Photos by

Published November 25, 2015

The jazz quartet ADHD has a stellar track record for quality and consistency. Their latest release, ‘5’, is no different, and like their other recordings, is conveniently labeled numerically for easy reference! The song structures are tight, consisting of almost minimal phrases and ideas, as opposed to extended solos and improvisations. Some songs even end where one might expect a return to a chorus. No one player outshines another in ADHD, which is impressive as the musicians are all staples of the Icelandic music scene in their own rights.

The tenor sax in “Sveðjan” quietly starts the album and the atmosphere remains moody but calm for its duration. The percussive backbone of the album is drummer Magnús Tryggvason Eliassen, who gives tracks like “Free Angelo” a loose tango pulse and “Jörg Theinelt” a silky, almost unnoticeable irregular five meter. The track “Flugzeug” gets a little grittier, but even then, the intensity only grows to a tolerable point before dissipating.

Coming up with new material might be effortless for these guys. After all, they’ve made five albums in a relatively short span of time, along with many solo ventures. On ‘5’, there’s enough ambience to settle you in for the evening, perhaps cosying up to a late-night cocktail. But there’s also enough creative activity that it never lulls you to sleep—you’re always looking forward to the next idea that’s just around the corner.

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