We were instantly gripped upon hearing the work of Hungarian jazz collaborative project Àbáse, lead by pianist, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Szabolcs Bognar. ‘Align’ is a stunning piece rooted in jazz textures, but takes on the brooding nature of much modern work of the genre that refuses to be boxed. To be released by New Zealand via Berlin-based label Cosmic Compositions, it marks the announcement of a new 7-track EP to follow in 2019.
Commanding a rhythm section consisting of two drummers, two bassists and a percussionist, all before Rhodes and flute are added to the mix; ‘Align’ falls short of the sonic mesh you may come to expect from a track performed by a band with as many members. This shouldn’t be mistaken for anything but intentional however. Filling the space with space, Àbáse composes a sateen-like groove knitted with afro-tinged rhythms, carefully balancing the voices of each instrument and much like the gradual warmth of cold sunlight, reaches full stride as the vocals of Wayne Snow deepens the musical chemistry.