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For the follow-up of his ECM-leader-debut La traversée, French saxophonist Matthieu Bordenave expands his trio of German pianist Florian Weber and Swiss bassist Patrice Moret with the unique sensibilities of drummer James Maddren, whose unrelenting pulse adds deft counterpoint to the group’s already idiosyncratic sound. Besides the soulfully angular rendering of John Coltrane’s “Compassion”, the quartet tackles eight Bordenave-originals that bridge the gap between chamber-jazz dynamics and post-swing designs. Weber and Bordenave’s oblique approach to their instruments – Bordenave can be heard on both tenor and soprano sax – coalesce seamlessly, spinning unanticipated lines over a highly interactive rhythm section. The Blue Land was recorded in Pernes-Les-Fontaines in 2022, and produced by Manfred Eicher.

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