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Music Review

Jacob Young Forever Young

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Label: ECM

Year: 2014

Duration: 74 minutes

1 of 1 Jacob Young's debut: real promise for the future.
Jacob Young's debut: real promise for the future.

I Lost My Heart to You - well how is that for a title? It’s the opening track to the Norwegian musician Jacob Young’s debut album, a title which pretty much sails the boat fully loaded before you get to hop on at all. So the exercise is full of yearning as you might imagine, as Jacob Young on guitar, Trygve Seim, tenor and soprano saxophone, Marcin Wasilewski  piano, Slawomir Kurkiewicz,  double bass, and drummer Michael Miskiewicz muster a kind of defiant resignation.

Therese’s Gate comes next, a sunnier slice of music, though still open to reflective introspection. The third, fourth and fifth tracks, namely Bounce, We Were Dancing and  Sofia’s Dance teeter close to easy listening. That’s all in the ears of the beholder, what’s muzak to one may be gold to another, yet the impressive depth of the opening tracks seems to have been sidelined. It’s like wading in the shallows, however expert and sophisticated and Scandinavian-clean the playing may be on those three tracks. 

The track Beauty recovers some of that earlier grandeur and features an inspired piano turn from Wasilewski. Time Changes, the penultimate track indulges a poppy hook. The concluding track, My Brother is soulful but mysterious - it’s the Greta Garbo of the tracks, and all the greater for that. It is the opener, though, I Lost My Heart to You, that is the real gem and shows real promise for the future.

Paddy Kehoe

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