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Sideways by Jacob Young

Norwegian/American guitarist Jacob Young extends his artistic palate with his second solo venture for ECM Records. Featuring heralded drummer Jon Christensen, the quintet exudes warmth amid its multihued frameworks, steered by the leader’s often pensive and irrefutably, animated voicings.

Young launches the gala with a calming acoustic guitar part during the title piece "Sideways," followed by bassist Mt Eilertsen’s regeneration of the primary theme. Enamored by a vibrant dual horn section, many of these works are treated with an air of refinement via prophetic choruses that summon notions of trekking along a scenic pastoral setting. Nonetheless, Young’s music offers a myriad of prismatic backdrops, drenched in sentiment and folk-like themes that he morphs into a Euro-jazz like framework.

The guitarist pursues a temporal balance that is expressively articulated, where jubilance and a sense of deep spirituality surface as just two components throughout the entire set. But they up the ante on "St. Ella," abetted by Christensen’s peppery attack that provides a fluent underpinning for the soloists to mix it up a bit. In addition, the band builds upon layers to intimate a sense of gradual ascension.

Young intermittently fuses inward-looking themes with an aggressive line of attack. In effect, he bridges some sort of opaque perimeter that strikes a noticeable balance among multiple stylizations that are channeled into a distinct musical vernacular. Young is clearly onto something here.

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