Y-Otis Tre (Orange Vinyl)


LP version. Orange color vinyl. Berlin-based Swedish tenor saxophonist Otis Sandsjö returns with his third album Y-Otis Tre on We Jazz Records. Y-Otis Tre finds Sandsjö in close collaboration with his long-time working partner and friend, bassist/producer Petter Eldh, and Dan Nicholls, the keyboardist of the Y-OTIS live band and a solo artist on his own right. Composed by the three and produced by Eldh and Sandsjö, Y-Otis Tre lives up to its name ("tre" means three in Swedish) and stands strong in the continuum of layer-caked liquid jazz, a staple of the Eldh/Sandsjö production duo lauded for their string of releases as Y-OTIS and Koma Saxo. While recognizable in form, Y-Otis Tre adds new dimensions to what has come before. Borne out of hours of tripped-out studio jams by Sandsjö and Eldh, Y-Otis Tre feels natural, neon, 3D, at times laser sharp, at times gooey like jelly, and at all times ripe with ideas that would make albums on their own. Golden riffs are taken, twisted, thrown away, then recycled, and always evolving. Perhaps evolution is key here, as the album reuses and cross-refers its own ideas but never exactly repeats. The music has a mixtape-like DNA, and it seems to be breeding and multiplying at each beat. In color terms, it is more RGB than CMYK -- that is, it might appear unrealistically bright and full of tones not found in the natural world. But when you listen to the music closely, you'll likely find it acoustic to the bone. There's no illusion: hearing the band live tells you what Y-OTIS is all about. It's a live band turned studio tool, morphed back into a live band. Or something like that anyway. Putting a tag onto this music feels a bit like trying to hold a very colorful, somewhat thick liquid substance on the palm of your hand. You can see it, feel it, but never fully pinpoint just what's it made of. But it works, so best just to enjoy the ride. RIYL: Koma Saxo, Y-OTIS 1 & 2, J Dilla, Madlib, contemporary R&B, hiphop, and electronic music-influenced jazz.