Polarity

Music Review

13 Sep 2018
Hoff Ensemble
Polarity
2L
Formats also available: Blu-ray
Blu-ray

Jan Gunnar Hoff – piano
Anders Jormin – bass
Audun Kleive – drums

This is very much Jan Gunnar Hoff’s project. As a composer and pianist he has delivered a cohesive album, having selected the trio format and invited two other extremely talented musicians to join him. The recording was produced by the owner of 2L, Morten Lindberg in the Sofienberg Church Norway in September 2017.

2L is highly committed to multi-channel recording, using the Auro 3D standard and Dolby Atmos, which adds height effect to the more common 5.1 surround sound configuration. As I only have a 2.1 system I listened to the SACD version rather than the Blu-ray that comes with this release.

The sound quality is absolutely excellent, with the acoustic of the church evident but each instrument well positioned in the soundstage. The music ranges from the elegiac (‘The Elder’) to the ecstatic (‘Euphoria’), and it is clear that these musicians really enjoyed playing together. This is modern jazz as I really like it – melodic, lyrical, surprising and emotionally compelling. I love that from time to time the church organ comes into play, presumably played by Hoff although he is not credited in the sleeve notes. Thoroughly recommended, for the brilliant music and the excellent recording quality. I do hope I can hear it in its full surround glory ere long!

Chris Kelly