The Firebirds: Aladdin’s Dream – Danish trio groove on the music of Carl Nielsen

Aladdin's Dream
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Artist: The Firebirds
Genre: Jazz
Label: ILKj

Named for Stravinsky's infamous ballet, and led by the son of a ballet dancer, Danish trio The Firebirds are proof that jazz musicians can (and increasingly will) appropriate just about any source material and turn it to their own nefarious ends.

Drummer Stefan Pasbourg is best known as one third of good-time Copenhagen funksters Ibrahim Electric, and that alone is enough to allay any suspicion that The Firebirds' second release, an examination of the music of Danish national treasure Carl Nielsen, might be an exercise in worthiness or academic analysis.

With saxophonist Anders Banke and keyboardist Anders Filipsen, Pasborg refracts Nielsen's idiosyncratic, folk-inflected melodies through a skewed prism of surfer grooves, Afrobeat and downtown jazz, and the results provide equal stimulation for head, heart and hips.

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin

Cormac Larkin, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a musician, writer and director