Debut album at first out February 18th of 2013 on the highly acclaimed ILK label
at first features ten original compositions rich in ideas and ingenuity and a quartet of exciting players from the Scandinavian scene. It presents a diverse musical universe built upon the compositional signature of Søren Gemmer that stages a love and awe of classical piano music in a context of modern jazz.
It features a Søren Gemmer's highly exciting quartet with Finnish bass player Tapani and Danish household names in contemporary jazz guitarist Per Møllehøj and drummer Andreas Fryland.
Recorded by legendary Dutch engineer Chris Weeda at Fattoria Musica, Osnabrück, DE, the album offers sonic clarity and finesse on a very high level.
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"Masterful from start to finish, at first is an album that grows in strength with repeated listens and marks the arrival of a new talent."
Sean Smith - Tokyo Jazz Notes
“5/6 - Outstanding debut … (that) from an artistic viewpoint has the potential for an international breakthrough.”
Ivan Rod - Gaffa (DK)
"This is apparently a debut album, which I find hard to believe.
It sounds more like a mature work from a composer clear about his direction and having moved a few stations down the line already."
Peter Bacon - thejazzbreakfast
"Gemmer is particularly dedicated to sound: he cares about it during his keyboard blasts, like in the two-faced “Chords”, first wrapped into stillness and then storming under Fryland’s well delivered drum hits; or in the more contemporary approach of “Russians”, whose lopsided paths deploy themselves and harmonize on Møllehøj’s guitar strings, blending pentatonic lines with clean and dry phrases.
An equally frank and pondered work, which turns on the spotlights on Gemmer and his excellent collaborators.
Alceste Ayroldi - Musica Jazz (ITA)
"I must say, I’m pretty surprised that a talent of this size is sneaking around at the edge of the Danish jazz scene.
I hope we get to hear a lot more from this man and he may very well use the same musicians. Møllehøj is exceptionally impressive and Fryland once again he shows that he is something very special."
Niels Overgård - Jazznyt (DK)
"The harmonics and subtle colour that Søren Gemmer adds to each piece is wonderful to hear. at first is an invigorating debut that is easy to fall in love with quickly. A lush and moving work for any music fan. Start listening now..."
Stephan Moore - Jazzwrap
"So, what are the songs? Hopelessly romantic or complex and sophisticated? at first shows that these two properties are not mutually exclusive and in this case are in perfect harmony. In addition to the picturesque harmonies, the band also establishes a varied character by well-executed improvisational passages on this quite successful debut album."
Mos Eisley Music (DE)
"This Danish pianist's debut album is a big surprise - the young man makes the impression of already being an accomplished and mature artist. Superbly composed themes by the band leader - both melodically attractive and spacious enough to constitute a starting point for improvisation. If we add to this the clear and warm sound on the recording - it turns out, that we are dealing with one of the most promising debuts of recent years."
Marek Romanski - Audio-Video Magazine (POL)