With their last album "Push" the dutch jazz combo Traeben already showcased an excellent way to work beautiful and challenging melodies into an interesting contemporary jazz sound. The brand new album "Looking At The Storm" is another example for this exciting and fresh sounding approach.
What strikes you first as a jazz band could also be mistaken for a rock group. Traeben's sound is built around bandleader Jens Larsen's guitar and completed by Søren Ballegaard on Saxophone, Olaf Meijer on Bass and Haye Jellema on Drums. Tracks like the uptempo opener "Do You Think They're Any Good?" almost sound like the instrumental version of what originally could have been a vocal song. The melody lines and songwriting create this kind of song-like modern jazz flavour which is pushed even more to the front on "Looking At The Storm". You will still hear a lot of solos on this album but you will find them embedded perfectly in the structure of the song and its melodies. Exploring a number of different moods, rhythms and speeds this CD certainly proves a highly entertaining character that no modern jazz fan should miss.
Unfortunately there's not a lot of audio available of this one so you might have to stick with the short preview on soundcloud or you will have to buy the CD somewhere around here.