Open Road cover

4 stars

FOLLOWING his exquisite trio album Meadowlands, Howard joins Belgian bassist Bruneel in duets and solos developed during a Nordic road trip. It’s an ideal pairing.

Bruneel’s warmth and muscularity, so deeply satisfying in his solos Settlers and Ay Yildis, is an ideal counterpoint to Howard’s pure, cool and often pensive approach. Bruneel also seems to draw out brooding power and momentum from Howard, who is known for fluidity, serenity and introspection.

This partnership is at its best in Howard’s compelling August and the title track, a composition by horn player Nadje Noordhuis.

Recorded in Oslo’s Rainbow Studio, this album is one to savour for its evocative duets, its texturally rich solos, and the journey itself.

File between: Sam Anning, Mike Nock

Download: August, Open Road, Settlers


Review also published in the Play liftout of Melbourne’s Sunday Herald Sun newspaper on July 10, 2011.

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