Anne Mette Iversen
It may be an unfair musical prejudice, but a lot of people hearing a jazz band think of the bassist as functional, as opposed to the pianist, saxophonist, or trumpeter, who usually take the spotlight. But bassist Anne Mette Iversen is far more than functional as evidenced by her wonderful new CD, "Round Trip." She composed every tune on the record and every one is a gem. Iversen also has excellent taste in musicians. Her group — with John Ellis, saxophone; Peter Dahlgren, trombone; Danny Grissett, piano; and Otis Brown III, drums — is first rate.
Iversen, who now lives in Berlin, views the album's title, "Round Trip," as more than returning home after a journey. It's also an apt metaphor for a musical excursion of 15 years with the same musicians. Judging by the upbeat and effervescent mood of the title track, it's been a highly positive journey. The album is full of great solos by Ellis, Dahlgren, and Grissett, and Iversen is, for the most part, in the background. But it's her superb compositions and arrangements (especially "Viinstedt's View") that take the spotlight on this album.