WE ARE ALL
Following an underwhelming big-band collaboration, We Are All sets Phronesis back on course in the quest to miniaturise and yet intensify a piano/bass/drums trio’s interaction. It’s not just that bassist Jasper Hoiby, pianist Ivo Neame and drummer Anton Eger are dazzlingly original instrumentalists, it’s that they’ve collectively pushed the format’s reset button, so neither piano nor drums clog up the frequency and dynamic spectrums. Instantly Hoiby’s mighty bass has more room to converse, without needing to be either busy or pushed forward in the mix.
They fuse the gentle art of restraint with that of improvisational abandon. Obviously the three compose with this outcome in mind, and the pieces are fascinating in themselves. Eger’s elegiac The Edge, for instance, initially gives the bass primacy to monumental effect, while the piano and drums dance about it as lightly as spirits. It’s this core instinct for minimalism from Hoiby and Neame and for labyrinths of little sounds from Eger that make this another thrilling instalment in the development of one of the world’s great bands – although these qualities are somewhat negated by the use of keyboards on the closing The Tree Did Not Die.