Mark Solborg Trio: The Trees – feat. Parker & Robertson

Evan Parker - Saxophone
Herb Robertson - Trumpet
Mark Solborg - Guitar
Mats Eilertsen - Bass
Peter Bruun - Drums

Catalog number: ILK199CD + ILK199LP
Release date: 07.02.2013

Rustle, blast, scratch and howl. The world is noisy (and a great place to live)...

At Copenhagen Jazzfestival 2011 Danish guitarist and composer Mark Solborg invited the legendary British saxophonist and improviser Evan Parker to join his trio and the fabulous american trumpetplayer Herb Robertson. An unusual and unique meeting across borders and generations was at hand. The group played three exclusive concerts in Copenhagen, one at Århus International Jazzfestival and spent a day in the studio - documenting the discoveries made during the concerts - What you hear on The Trees is a selection of what happened that day.


Solborg describes the project as an essential peak in his work with improvised music. The extreme collective awareness of all 5 players, and Parkers deeply rooted aproach, gives the music an almost symphonic caracter - like a walk through an arboretum (a botanical garden of trees). This music is not about oneway soliloquies but a conversation between equal musical landscape-architects. Listen carefully and you will find a curious world of views, light and tales within the sounds and shapes carefully molded by these master musicians.

The album is available digitally, as CD and a beautiful 180g limited edition LP.

British pianoplayer and composer par excellence Django Bates has added the very poetic linernotes on The Trees:

"Rustle, blast, scratch and howl. The world is noisy (and a great place to live)… When the wind blows, a bough breaks; a blackbird sings its surprise and a nursery rhyme is born. Because frost melts, humming telephone wires slacken and change key. Even stone slabs resonate when sibilants bounce around the nave. The Earth is a master of free-jazz and improv; it desires a response. Upon this Earth, here and there, are a few folk thankfully compelled to meet up and add their voices to the mélange: scattered tribes who must search each other out. Dear listener, you are hearing a ritual. In a room where musicians meet, large resonant objects with their grain exposed will have been disrobed; a reed from the Var will have been ligatured to a mottled brass relic; a tentative, herb-scented wind will have picked up, and the ritual begun. Don’t stop. If you stop, everything may stop. Play on, in time with the timeless, bendy rhythm of noble trees, and in beautifully imperfect harmony with the world."

Django Bates, December 2012

Mark Solborg
With 14 releases as leader or co. leader and performances at leading European jazzfestivals Solborg has established himself with clear defined imprints on the Danish and International Jazz- and Improv-scene. His production includes both composed and improvised music. Besides Eillertsen, Parker & Robertson collaborators include Chris Speed, Hank Roberts, Paal Nilssen-Love, Francesco Bigoni, Marc Lohr, Lotte Anker, a.o. His work as guitarist and composer has recieved substantial international recognition.

Evan Parker
Evan Parker is an exceptional musician. He stands as a leading figure and icon on the European Jazz- and Improv-scene. His regular musical partners since the 60’s includes Derek Bailey, Tony Oxley, Peter Kowald, Alex von Schlippenbach, Paul Lovens, Barry Guy o.a. American associates includes Anthony Braxton, Cecil taylor, Paul Bley, Rashied Ali, a.o. Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering.

 “There is, still, nothing else in music - jazz or otherwise - that remotely resembles an Evan Parker solo concert. Such intensity of purpose has guided Parker’s own work for over 30 years. lt is the main reason he is now widely acknowledged as “one of the music’s greatest living instrumentalists” (The Times)

“one of the world’s finest ensemble improvisers” (Chicago Reader)

 “one of the modern era’s most original voices” (The Wire).

Herb Robertson
Herb Robertsons fabulous work with Tim Berne, Bobby Previte, Bill Frisell, David Sanborn, Paul Motian, Barry Guy’s New Orchestra, Marc Ducret, New Jungle Orchestra, John Zorn, Roswell Rudd, Rashied Ali, Ray Anderson, Dewey Redman, Evan Parker, Charlie Haden Music Liberation Orchestra and so many others has placed him as a unique musician and carismatic improviser within Jazz and new improvised music. His melodic and sonorous approach draws freely on the entire tradition from Armstrong via Davis to Barry Guy, Gustafson, and their music of today.

The collaboration between Robertson and Solborg started in 2008 with the recording of the critically acclaimed duo-album NOD (ILK152CD)

 "Every quiet passage here is invested with personality - Brian Morton, Jazz Journal, UK .. A small masterpiece ..refined sonic art by two articulate partners in conversation"
- Ib skovgaard, Weekendavisen, DK

"..tough and tender .. unbeatable skills"
- Ken Waxman, Jazz Word, US

"Can’t find better nightvision"
- Ole Albrekt Nedrelid, Jazznytt, Norway

Since then the two has met on a regular basis in Copenhagen playing with different constellations set up by Solborg. In 2010 a small tour of Damaskus with the band SpeakOut was a blast. In 2012 the two visited Tampere Jazz Happening with Eilertsen, Bruun, Lotte Anker and Mikko Innanen, and toured Poland and DK.

The Trio
The rhythm-section behind Mark Solborg is an exceptional and unpredictable combination of Norwegian Bassplayer Mats Eilertsen and Danish drummer Peter Bruun. Eilertsen is one of the finest on his instrument in Norway. He’s all over the place and has performed and recorded with Food, The Source, Ernst Reijseger, Pat Metheny (!), Bobo Stenson (for ECM), Tord Gustafson ( for ECM).o.a. Bruun is one of the most talented drummers in Denmark. He is currently a regular in Django Bates Trio, Marc Ducret Quintet and a number of Danish contemporary groups.




New York City Jazz Record – Honorable Mentions 2013:
Mark Solborg Trio feat. Herb Robertson & Evan Parker: The Trees (ILK199CD/LP)

“Evan Parker’s circular soprano bubbles up like hot mud in a volcanic puddle or twitters like scratchy birdsong, while Herb Robertson’s loose-lipped, brassy gusts sound like a hyperventilating huntsman breaking the morning stillness. When Solborg turns to the electric guitar he’s capable of wafting mists or, on “Dogwood”, a harsh tangle of barbed wire....”

- Dan Spicer, The Wire, UK

"The Trees is the latest new perspective from which Mark Solborg looks at the world of improvisation, and confirms him as one of the most fervid and intriguing musicians on the European scene."
- Vincenzo Roggero - All about Jazz Italia

"So dunkel und mystisch das Cover, so vital und lichtklar die freien Jazz-Improvisationen des dänischen Bandprojektes "The Trees"... kein Stilbrei, kein Musikramsch, kein atonaler Müll, sondern die Suche nach einer freien, intelligenten Musik nach allen bekannten Mustern. "The Trees" scheint genau dieser Idee (in der nächsten Generation) zu sein."

"...A high point in Danish Improjazz. The Trees is some of the best Solborg has produced. Music that has it’s own spirit and becomes a living organism, filled with wonder and joy.

My soul, could you wish for more ?"
- Niels Overgaard,

"Som sprukne tirader af vindpust og knaster smyger Mark Solborgs seneste projekt sig afsted. I et organisk hele, hvor improvisationen sendes ud af fem musikere og menneskers tilstedeværelse i øjeblikket. Guitaristen og facilitatoren Mark Solborg løfter sig med sit seneste projekt op i trætoppene. Han har allieret sig med den engelske avantgarde-veteran, saxofonisten Evan Parker og den amerikanske trompetist Herb Robertson. I trioen er bassisten Mats Eilertsen og trommeslageren Peter Bruun perfekte partnere i et musikalsk projekt, der stiller så store krav til den enkelte musiker.

 Det er stille musik, der væver sig ind og ud. Vokser i styrke og igen bevæger sig et nyt sted hen. Solborg omtaler selv projektet som et absolut højdepunkt i hans arbejde med improviseret musik. Jeg vil ikke tøve med at kalde det et højdepunkt i dansk improjazz. The Trees er noget af det flotteste som Solborg har præsenteret i sin 12 plader lange karriere. Musik der får sin egen ånd og bliver til en levende organisme, der gennemstrømmes af forundring og glæde.

 Min sjæl, hvad vil du mer? "
- Niels Overgaard,

"Mark Solborg er en dygtig guitarist med en nysgerrig tilgang til instrumentet og en solid fornemmelse for klangfarve. Dette kunne i sig selv være spændende nok, men der hvor Solborg især udmærker sig, er hans evne til at sammensætte stærke ensembler og ved konstant at udfordre sit eget talent i dialog med andre markante stemmer... ..Alle fem musikere udviser nemlig en fornemmelse for helheden, der hæver de frie improvisationer op til noget andet og større end selvoptaget talen i munden på hinanden. Improvisation kræver koncentration og åbenhed, men også en ydmyghed over for det fælles projekt, og man finder det alt sammen på The Trees, hvor alle fem musikere tapper ind i en kollektiv nerve, som de hver især lader musikken vokse frem af, og som de farver med hver deres baggrund og erfaringshorisont... ..Ligesom det kræver noget at spille denne form for musik, kræver den også et nærvær fra lytterens side. Dog trænger musikken sig ikke på, men står der snarere som en invitation, et landskab med mulighed for at træde ind i. Det er en invitation, man varmt anbefales at tage imod. "
Rasmus Steffensen, Seismograf - Læs hele anmeldelsen

..en skøn bid af en klangverden.. ..fascinerende session. / ..a wonderful world of sound ..fascinating session.
- Christian Munch Hansen, Politiken - Læs hele anmeldelsen

"..a channel for a kind of universal music.. ..for those whose ears are attuned to the unexpected, Solborg’s music will strike a deep chord."
- Irish Times

"One hell of a record..."
-Joe Higham -

"A collage.
A massage.
A barrage. listen because the listen is thrilling, and you don’t want to let go..."
- This is book's music

 "All 5 musicians deliver exquisite performances, but it is the collective spirit, where nobody gets in each others way, that produces this rooted and wonderful music. All ten tracks are sublime selections from the studio.. For each listen it prickles and tingles in new and stimulating ways from Solborg & friends’ collected herbarium. - or with Django Bates’ cunning words: ”Play on, in time with the timeless, bendy rhythm of noble trees, and in beautifully imperfect harmony with the world."
- Bjarne Søltoft, JazzSpecial/Jazznytt

"...ett musikaliskt envig där varje ton blir meningsfull. I det sköra samspelet mellan tonala och visuella associationer formas en fantasifull och känslomässigt laddad skönhet."
-Magnus Erikson,




- Nordische Musik 

"..everything flows as one continuous spirited work of art. Most impressive on various levels without any excessive screaming or unnecessary eruptions."
- Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery