The New LoFi

Ten Years

Jazz meets its darker side with Belgium-based trio, Under The Reefs Orchestra

Europe is producing some solid jazz these days. From Switzerland to the UK, this genre that I’ve always thought of as purely American, has opened up new doors to me through Europe.

This month we were passed a new album from a jazz outfit based in Brussels, Belgium called Under the Reefs Orchestra.  The trio navigates between hypnotic post rock jazz and something more ominous and stormy. It’s music that explores upheaval and change. Their new album, Sakurajima, is a perfect example of this. Eight songs that teeter between upheaval and resolution.

The band takes inspiration from seemingly disparate sources. At one minute the guitarist Clément Nourry is citing French chamber music of the 19th century, and the next it’s the cosmic energy behind the music of Jim O’Rourke.

The single that stands out to me on the album is called “Mendoza.” The song demonstrates the trio’s more volcanic side and acts as a sort of overture for the album. But maybe that’s reading into it too much. On the surface, the song is a melancholic poem about drinking wine and riding horses during a warm night in Mendoza.