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Friday, Feb. 3, 2012

Clazz Ensemble & Frank Carlberg

Federico on Broadway (Red Piano Records)

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The Netherlands' reputation for supporting a flourishing and venturesome jazz scene is supported by the bracing new album by Amsterdam's Clazz Ensemble of music by Finnish-American pianist-composer Frank Carlberg. Structured improvisation occurs as solos weave intricate, often ensemble-based patterns around the boldly stated melodies and themes. It's a quiet, controlled wail wedded to the familiar rhythms of the circus and American musical theater. Some of the structures will remind careful listeners of Philip Glass and other late 20th century postmodernists.