Soul, Jazz and Cuban Beats
Take five contemporary jazz musicians mixing feel-good repertoire and soul-in- fused grooves and you’ll be some way to- wards understanding the sound of Danish group Acoustic Lounge.
Following the success of their debut album which garnered over two million streams worldwide, the group is back with a bigger, bolder recorded statement fea- turing some of Denmark’s most esteemed jazz musicians.
With its two founders – Mikkel Schnettler and Michael Hartvig – on percussion, the atypical quintet line-up is completed with the smooth, soulful vocals of frontman Søren Baun, celebrated bassist Jesper Bodilsen and saxophonist Claus Waidtløw.
Acoustic Lounge’s sound is relaxed, easy- going, and playful. One hardly notices the omission of a traditional drum kit, as their percussion-heavy sound lays a foundation of
rich, latin-influenced grooves. At a concert with Acoustic Lounge nothing is as it seems. What at first glance seems to be an easy- going smooth jazz experience opens up to be an intriguing world full of surprising new arrangements.
The repertoire provides some refreshing interpretations of their diverse program. From well known jazz standards such as the title track ‘Alone Together’ or Jobim’s ‘One Note Samba’, to pop classics like Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’, to the 21st Century anthem that is Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’, the record is united by a sound which makes each song their own.
The quintet preserves the essence and feel- ing of each composition and gives them a modern twist, be it through pop and neo- soul harmony, melodic saxophone solos, multi-tracked backing vocals, or entirely original passages of music within songs that every listener will recognize.
With an extensive touring history in their home country, Acoustic Lounge is made up of some of Denmark’s most celebrated jazz musicians alongside some rising stars of the Scandinavian scene.
Bassist Jesper Bodilsen, winner of the Django d’Or Prize as ‘Performer of the Year’ in 2004, has toured the world, performing with some of the biggest names in Jazz including Brad Meldau, Bill Frisell, and Gregory Porter. Saxophon- ist Claus Waidtløw, winner of the Danish Music Awards’ ‘Jazz Composer of the Year’ in 2015 has worked with the likes of John Scofield, Christian McBride, and Maria Schneider to name a few.
The two bandleaders Mikkel Schnettler and Michael Hartvig on percussion are stalwarts of the scene and singer-pianist Søren Baun is known for a broad range of winning musical projects.
with this band nothing is as obvious as it seems at first glance.