Bassist/composer Bruno Raberg has released a new double CD called Lifelines on his label Orbis Music. The album showcases an eclectic world of music carrying an array of moods from a sprightly banter in "Agog" to a somber soliloquy in "Agni." At times the tracks venture off into classic bebop terminals like in "April Suite," and then some times Raberg and his band of merry-men engage in free spirited improvisations like in "Intersection." Raberg’s music shows many influences from the musicians that he has recorded and/or performed with in the past including Nils Landgren, Sam Rivers, George Garzone, and Bob Mintzer. Raberg’s Lifelines bridges the old with the modern world of jazz dipping into traditional bebop relics and encoding them with avant garde and freestyle insignias.
The opiate vapors of "Chosen Path" release serene sensations, and the soft effervescence of mellow bass sways and the butterfly-flutter of the saxophone keys in the title track have a cerebral gratification. The dark chambers of "Revisited Path" are melancholic while the upbeat improvisations along "Intersection" demand the listener to stay alert to the chord changes. The noiresque feel of "Moondown" gives off an eerie vibe, which trails off into the strange canals and dissonant vibrations ringing through "An Afternoon By The Meadow." The gentle lines of "Gymnastics/Skyscapes" and "Ballad For Summer’s End" go off into dreamland-like escapes, which Raberg continues along the lines of in "Elegy" but adding a bit more suspense with echoing channels.
The bebop catacombs of "Nardis/Cow’s Tail" move with a slow stride but pick up a quicker gait in "Cosmic Kerfuffle" with a flashy shimmy in the guitar chords and spontaneous saxophone twitters. The slow winding bends of "Doxian" return to an opiate drift like in "Chosen Path," but then change its course in "Expectation" to a faster shuffle in the bass pulls and saxophone knolls. The laid-back rolls of "Candescence" have a classic shape, and the subdued rumbling beats of Flurries are layered with quick saxophone twirls which turn to a lover’s serenade along the planes of "Dream Walker" and "New Land."
Lifelines is an expression of Raberg and his band’s propensity to explore the nature of mysticism. The album is both soothing and mysterious, injecting enigmatic shadows and eerie canals into typically bebop tracks. Raberg is a native of Sweden who relocated to America after being awarded a scholarship from the New England Conservatory in 1981. This is his sixth solo recording and displays his playing in a supportive role to saxophonist Chris Cheek and guitarist Ben Monder. Raberg has appeared as a sideman on over 30 recordings and has toured extensively through Europe, the US, and Japan. Lifelines bridges Raberg’s musical experiences with the textures and color schemes that he enjoys playing today. It transposes the old into the modern using threading that makes everything appear seamless.