Francesco Bigoni: Tenor saxophone
Mark Solborg: Guitars
Kevin Brow: drums
Streaming & download: ILKMusic.lnk.to/ILK179
Hopscotch is a musical playground where composed and improvised ideas with aim and purpose are investigated and unfolded. The squares and bases are drawn by equal scotch-hoppers with a passion for consequence and rye bread. Hopscotch jumps - on one or two feet - from one musical space to another with focus on equilibrium and the shared marker.
The music is recorded in one big room with use of ribbon microphones to obtain a rich and warm group-sound. As in a concert. Hopscotch comes in the original Arigato Pak made from 100% recycled chipboard - no adhesives.
" The trio Hopscotch - saxophonist Francesco Bigoni, guitarist Mark Solborg and drummer Kevin Brow - shares ... a love of genre- blurring improvisation. Based in Copenhagen, but hailing from Italy, Argentina and Canada respectively, its members bring a cosmopolitan approach to music that is - not surprisingly - devoid of stylistic and cultural borders. Over ten tracks that nicely balance moments of jarring abandon with meditative studies on tonal and textural variation, the trio shows not only the depth of its individual voices, but the extent to which group interplay, composition and improvisation can blend into a singular and compelling collective statement. Solborg’s original “Almost” is a case study in the group’s approach. Beginning with breathy saxophone overtones, brushed snare and plaintive, twangy guitar tones, the group deftly segues to a darkly beautiful and unpredictable composed line. Tenor mirrors guitar before emerging with an unaccompanied series of trills that are quickly joined by the full group in a rousing and extemporaneous buildup to a carefully composed conclusion. From the blistering tour-de-force “Brainwashing” to the album’s whispered conclusion, “E”, the focus never wavers from exploring the endless sonic possibilities "
- Matthew Miller, The New York City Jazz Record.
"..The three musicians compliment each other perfectly with no one musician standing alone but all acting together. ...All the players have strong voices. Bigoni's sax almost cries at times such as on the lovely frail sounding '2' and his tune 'Not Interesting, But True'. Here he repeats some very simple melodic ideas that the group builds on gradually giving the impression that each musician is searching for a new melody, very effective! But it is probably Mark Solborg's guitar which most links together the three players. His playing is particularly strong with a wide sonic pallet that comes up with a new solution for every tune. His playing is discreet yet utterly compelling."
- Joe Higham/freejazz-stef.blogspot.com
★★★★☆ (4.3/5) "Caught between great intensity and ethereal beauty, this first album from Hopscotch is a pretty fascinating affair. While still a very young formation, the trio already shows a great level of maturity, making this album a true delight from start to finish."
- Bruno Lasner, The Milk Factory
★★★★☆ (4/5) "Strong original compositions and dynamic ..eminent interplay and exquisite broad sound"
" Reckless improjazz of the dense kind. A CD-cover is rarely a reason to own a CD. Hopscotch is an exception."
- Niels Overgaard, Jazznyt.blogspot.com
"The trio with sax, guitar and drums is successfully exploited, both to work on muscular interplay and variation in subtlety. Hopscotch has a great business-card"
★★★★★★★☆ (7/8) "To be catalogued under the category "flee (for love's sake) of musical brains to the foreign countries" Francesco Bigoni's Danish adventure. He is one of the most gifted and intelligent young Italian saxophone players. In such a stimulant environment as Copenhagen - central ever since in European jazz history - he crossed paths with guitarist Mark Solborg and Canadian drummer Kevin Brow. The result is the powerful and versatile trio Hopscotch. Their debut album, based on compositions by all three, shows a great ensemble maturity, with hard and urban sounds but also an effective lyricism. Take note of the name. Of the trio, I mean. Bigoni's name you should already remember"
- Blow up (Ita)