For composer Thomas Albæk Jakobsen, it all begins with relationships: inspiration is exchanged among musicians, interaction takes place between those musicians and the audience, and mood, feeling, state of mind and experience come into play, making art of it all. Says Jakobsen, “My mission in music is to mix a melodic approach with an unknown quantity that challenges the listener’s senses. I’ve aimed to create a musical space where the mysterious and the poetic have a direct impact on sound and how it affects people. My music is the result of the energy generated in this process, and the audience is invited to experience and take part in that.
Jakobsen, who has long been touted for his drumming skills in the northern part of Denmark, is now being recognized as a composer as well: he penned all of the tracks on the first album by FLUX and in 2010 he wrote two tunes for acclaimed album Canopus by the JazzNord Ensemble, featuring the renowned sax player Dick Oatts. As a musician Jakobsen is also known from his work with the Christina Jones Quintet and the electro acoustic trio Brem/Rizzi/Jakobsen, who work with improvisations on silent movies.
Jakobsen earned a masters degree in Arts and Jazz history and studies with such notable Danish and international drummers and composers as Henry Cole, Peter Retzlaff, Soren Moller, Peter Brem and Peter Jensen.. About Jakobsen’s drumming the newspaper ‘Flensborg Avis’ wrote, “Thomas Albæk Jakobsen is dynamic. His playing is poignant and concise without being too dominating.”
With its rich textures and multitude of dynamic expressions, the music of FLUX stimulates the senses, inviting the listener to be carried away. The sound of FLUX draws you into a universe where music takes on myriad shapes and colors, virtually demanding that the listener assume an active role.
The instrumentation—piano, guitar, bass, drums and one player alternating between tenor sax, clarinet and bass clarinet—that would play a central role in an otherwise traditional jazz quintet, here provides alternating textures, enabling the listener to both zoom in on the familiar and simultaneously be challenged. “I’ve composed the tunes to display the different possibilities of texture and sound that can be gotten with this instrumentation,” says bandleader Thomas Albæk Jakobsen. Ever-shifting moods emerge through the interactions of the musicians and their relationship with the audience. The five members of FLUX saturate the compositions with their individual voices within an improvisatory setting where the music is shaped—always with a characteristic energy, one of the trademarks of FLUX.
The name FLUX is derived from fluxus, Latin for flowing or fluid. That eloquent term best describes the band’s music, comprising pieces weaved together to form a distinctive whole—stamped with composer Jakobsen’s distinctive fingerprint. The band members, hailing from Denmark, each play music in various contexts from which they draw the inspiration that is channeled into FLUX. Each player is part of the progressive jazz community in Denmark, in particular the stream of jazz musicians produced in the northern part of the country during the last couple of years. Some of FLUX began their musical collaboration in the JazzNord Ensemble back in 2008 and, since then, have accumulated jazz awards and been involved with critically acclaimed albums.