Pigeon Folk Pieces - Trio Mio
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cd cover Trio Mio
Pigeon Folk Pieces
GO Danish Folk Music (www.gofolk.dk)

Trio Mio keep it light and transparent on this lovely release. Using Scandinavian folk idioms and acoustic instrumentation, they create a series of sweet, dancy little sonic stories. Though much of the music has a traditional folk dance sound to it, it's mostly newly composed. Danish fiddler Kristine Heebøll's energetic playing is at the center, shored up by countryman Nikolaj Busk's sweeping, glittering piano lines and Swedish guitarist Jens Ulvsand's driving rhythms.
They swoop easily from tight unison playing to complex counterpoint, leaving the listener breathless. The three have the warm musical communication that makes the music of English country dance band Bare Necessities so listenable and danceable. The harmonies often take on a jazzy tinge, and they strike a fine balance between artful improvisation and thoughtful arrangements. The slightly spacey "Gamla Lundagatan," for example, could easily stray off into the ether, but the off-kilter rhythm necessitates close attention to detail on the players' parts. "Edderfuglen" is a tender little piece named after a boat that carried Jews from Denmark to Sweden during World War II. A surprising trumpet solo by Jakob Holdensen gives the tune a tintype-tinged poignancy. On "Noget I Morgen," Heebølls' fiddle takes on a Hardanger-y drone before the piece takes a swingy turn, complete with thick, percussive piano chords and choral scat singing. The chugging rhythm of "Wrong Word, Right?" sets up a solid background that each player adorns in turn with his/her own brushstroke. Listen for the wry little single bell tone near the end of this one. It's that gentle good humor and heartfelt warmth that makes Pigeon Folk Pieces such an appealing listen. - Peggy Latkovich

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