Sophomore album from twentysomething saxophonist Adam Waldmann
Statement of Intent 4/5 If there’s one thing twentysomething saxophonist Adam Waldmann proves on his superb sophomore album, it’s that tuneful jazz doesn’t have to result in soporific Muzak bereft of either guts or beauty. ‘Statement of Intent’ melds lush classical-ish harmonies with adrenalised improv, shimmering beats and purposeful grooves to bewitching effect. Waldmann helms this band with huge skill, inspiring world-class performances from Danish bass don Jasper Høiby and piano ace Ivo Neame. The song-like themes also get an added boost from the smokey vocals of Swedish folk-jazz singer Emilia Mårtensson on the slow-motion ballad ‘Maybe Next Year’. It’s also indicative of Waldmann’s melodic slight of hand that Statement… matches wry song titles such as ‘Hicks’ (dedicated to the late comedian), or the DVD-inspired ‘Box Set Anti-Hero’, with accessible front-line hooks, under which giddy polyrhythmic currents ebb and flow. This is smart music that isn’t trying to impress, but does simply by its quality, enticing you into the warmth of Waldmann’s world.