Media and Reviews

Jazz Nyt review (Denmark) - May 2024

There is something liberating about listening to an album where the musician isn’t struggling to position herself or attempting to place herself on the music scene. Firstly, she’s already here, and secondly, she’s doing what she does best: making her own fantastic music.

This is trombonist and composer Lis Wessberg’s second album after debuting with Yellow Map in the fall of 2021. Twain Walking features the same musicians: Steen Rasmussen on keys, Lennart Ginman on bass and electronics, and Jeppe Gram on drums.

Yellow Map was clearly the debut that Lis Wessberg had been storing energy for over many years, and it couldn’t be held back. Perhaps it was only meant to be that one? Twain Walking has a focused calm and coherence that suits it perfectly.

As Henrik Palle aptly writes in the album’s liner notes, the trombone’s sliding nature is reminiscent of the human voice. Lis Wessberg’s serene tones blend air and time with the band’s delightful music.

Karmen Rõivassepp guests on a couple of tracks, with Behind The Walls standing out. It’s not all calm, though. For instance, Tapestry of Life is a wonderfully dynamic track that reminds me of some of the early work Ginman did with Steen Jørgensen, where Lis Wessberg was a significant musician.

Twain Walking is an album unlike anything else in Danish jazz. Wessberg’s original take on jazz, rock, ambient, and electronics is a refreshing encounter.

LINK to the review i Danish

GAFFA review (Denmark) - April 2024

Excellent sophomore album from the Danish trombonist.

With a team of strong Danish musicians and an Estonian guest appearance, she is close to a masterpiece.

Lis Wessberg is a well-established Danish trombonist. She has played with numerous artists and has only begun composing, performing, and releasing music under her own name later in life.

At 57, it has only been two and a half years since her album debut. However, she made her debut with the thoroughly considered and well-crafted album Yellow Map, where listeners could hear a magnificent and sensitive Lis Wessberg at the forefront, accompanied by a dream team of sidemen she has known and played with for many, many years.

The debut album was excellent. But the challenging second album, which is now available, seems to me to be just as good! Twain Walking is an organic whole; a captivatingly beautiful and modern work with solid jazz roots and future-proofed horizons.

As with the debut, the success is due to the constellation of Lis Wessberg on trombone, her husband Steen Rasmussen on Rhodes, synths, and piano, Lennart Ginman on double bass and electronics, and Jeppe Gram on drums. (Marilyn Mazur was a guest on the first album, and Karmen Rõivassepp is a guest on the second.) I can’t say exactly what happened, but perhaps the success of the debut gave Wessberg the peace needed to create a solid follow-up so relatively soon after the debut.

The music on Twain Walking is, as Henrik Palle writes on the album cover, “elegant” – characterized by a “spherical spirituality and physical sensuality.” The balance between the quiet, intimate, and sensitive on one side, and the bold, dramatic, and artificial on the other, is simply excellent – thanks to Wessberg and certainly also her sidemen. I am convinced that it is especially the meeting and the long-term collaboration with Lennart Ginman that is the foundation of Wessberg's remarkable balancing act. The music bears Ginman's fingerprints in terms of pulse and electronics, but the trombone’s softly restrained, almost woody, organic sound and the compositions' gentle elegance undoubtedly carry Wessberg's fingerprints.

Twain Walking is an album with many highlights – so many that it is almost pointless to single them out. But I am particularly drawn to tracks like “Birds,” “Posterity,” “Clouds,” and “Twain Walking.” And I must add that Karmen Rõivassepp is a great addition on the tracks “Behind the Walls” and “Like a Sparrow.

LINK to the review i Danish

All That...... (Denmark) - April 2024

Super cool trombone and beautiful ensemble playing

Twain Walking is trombonist Lis Wessberg's second solo album following her debut, Yellow Map, from 2021, which received rave reviews across Europe.

However, Lis Wessberg is far from an unknown figure on the Danish and international jazz scenes. As one of Denmark's leading trombonists, she has contributed to over 50 albums and played with major and renowned names in jazz and pop, such as Marilyn Mazur, Fredrik Lundin, Randy Brecker, Hanne Boel, and many more. Lis Wessberg is also a key component of the band Sisters of Jazz, which has been performing the tribute concert “All about the Ladies – A Portrait about the Hidden Ladies of Jazz” since 2014.

Twain Walking is very much a strong ensemble performance, even though Lis Wessberg's beautiful trombone tone and unique compositions are, of course, at the forefront. The album's 10 compositions are almost all at slow tempos except for the intense 'Tapestry of Life,' where Steen Rasmussen's moog sets the melody with a hectic electronic figure. 'Tapestry of Life' has also been released as a single.

The album does not feature a definite hit like 'The Strip' and 'The Ancient Road' from her debut Yellow Map, but Twain Walking has two songs ('Behind the Walls,' 'Like a Sparrow') featuring Estonian singer Karmen Rõivassepp, whose beautiful lyrical soprano elevates the compositions to the highest level. A dreamily good partnership.

The talented musicians in the band also get to showcase their skills on the album. In the melody 'Two-track,' a beautiful bass solo by Lennart Ginman can be heard, and in 'Clouds,' pianist Steen Rasmussen unfolds his entire poetic talent. Twain Walking is a melancholic, thoughtful, and expressive album that explores both the light and dark sides of life and cannot fail to affect the listener.

Lis Wessberg's rich trombone blends beautifully with the band's acoustic and electronic universe.

The sound is internationally impressive, and it reminded me of Caroline Henderson's Made in Europe, which has a similar vibe. The Danish band Regnfang also works with a similar expression.

But Lis Wessberg is in a class of her own.

Fortunately, Lis Wessberg can be experienced in several different band constellations at summer jazz festivals and various other jazz events in 2024.

You don’t want to miss it!

LINK to the review i Danish