What makes a two piece band so enthralling? In the rock frame it’s often down to dynamics – how can something so huge come from a couple of people –but in jazz, where the form is less structured, less song bound making a duo work can get more complicated.
A recent entry into the discussion comes via Denmark with the unambiguously named Svaneborg Kardyb, a fresh crossover-jazz partnership between Nikolaj Svaneborg (Wurlitzer, Juno, piano) and Jonas Kardyb (drums, percussion). The two players from Aalborg have known each other for more than a decade but their music making together began seriously in 2019 with a debut album ‘Knob’ and its follow up ‘Haven’.
Now comes news of the third instalment of Svaneborg Kardyb music, when the album ‘Over Tage’ gets its release via the crucial Gondwana imprint on November 4th. If you caught their recent much-streamed NPR tiny desk concert you’ll know that the duo deliver melodically empowered electro-acoustic jazz that’s agile and ambient as well as uplifting and calm. Often minimal but deceptively moving, Svaneborg Kardyb make connections with the sweep of Scandi-jazz from the sparse beauty of Tord Gustavsen to the edginess of EST and onto Nils Okland’s expansive folk.
You can hear these traces on ‘Op’, the first single released to preview the soon come album. The glistening piano sings unhurriedly while a soft earthy rhythm pads alongside. Deftly placed, delicate trills pull at the emotions while a gentle hi-hat whisper breezes by. Yes there’s urgency in the closing cymbal splashes and rising chords but this then slips away into an elusive stillness.
On this evidence Svaneborg Kardyb might lazily get presented as making contemplative music for the well-being age but their version reaches beyond the atmospheric. It has real soul, an emotional purpose and a genuine intention to make you feel welcome. So right now in 2022, the duo’s new album ‘Over Tage’ sounds like a record that we all need.
Pre-order your copy of ‘Over Tage’ by Svaneborg Kardyb from your local record shop or direct from: https://svaneborgkardyb.bandcamp.com/album/over-tage