Double Life consists of Anne Mettes long running quartet, the Anne Mette Iversen Quartet, featuring John Ellis (soprano & tenor saxophone), Danny Grissett (piano), Otis Brown III (drums & cymbals) and special guest, the outstanding Swedish trombonist Peter Dahlgren, of the Norrbotten Big Band (who also appeared on the bassist's very first recording, On the Other Side, ten years ago); plus, the string quartet, 4Corners, featuring members of the Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, who also appeared on Iversen's 2008 recording, Best of the West.
While Double Life has toured and performed in Denmark several times, the international performances has so far happened with great local string quartets. We are looking forward to being able to be on the road together though!
The music on So Many Roads is quite unique in that it utilizes a one-movement compositional form, and boasts an exquisite balance of integration and interaction between the string group and the jazz group. The compositional process started out with the idea of describing a journey through a mythological world, an imaginary description of travel and related experiences. But it ended up being so closely connected to the composer's own personal life and actually describing a very special period and special experience of of life.
The press on So Many Roads:
"Danish bassist Anne Mette Iversen is now based in Berlin, though her leading role in the Brooklyn Jazz Underground has had a huge impact on the New York scene. Her Double Life ensemble combines jazz quintet and string quartet with extraordinary results: Just behold the profusion of harmonic color and naturally flowing swing on the group's second release, So Many Roads. The album says a lot in just under 37 minutes." - David R. Adler, The Village Voice
“Iversen’s long-running quartet includes saxophonist John Ellis and pianist Danny Grissett, who both play wonderfully burnished improvisations here that bounce off Iversen’s fertile material ... The only real problem with So Many Roads is that the journey ends before you want it to.” - Bradley Bambarger, DownBeat Magazine
“[a] highly rewarding road trip through Anne Mette Iversen’s fertile mind” - Jeff Tamarkin, JazzTimes
“This is a great piece of music ... it’s like two groups performing simultaneously, and periodically bleeding into each other’s worlds in fascinating and thrilling ways.” - Phil Freeman, Burning Ambulance
Double Life's first release Best of the West was released as disc 1 of the double album Best of the West + Many Places in 2008. On this album Anne Mette Iversen Quartet (without '+1') meets the string quartet 4Corners. The music interveawes creatively and elegant the sound and work of the two quartets, utilizing what they each are best at. The framework for the suite Best of the West is the classical sonata form; consisting of four movements with the tempo markings Allegro, Adagio, Menuet and Presto. Two additional single standing compositions conclude the album.
Best of the West was featured on A Blog Supreme / NPR Jazz as part of the article "5 Great Works Of Modern Chamber Jazz" - alongside amazing musicians and composers: Wayne Shorter, Brad Mehldau, Chico Hamilton and Dave Douglas. The movement West (Menuet) was selected Song of the Day on NPR Music, in May 2008.
The press on Best of the West:
"Few other arrangers can deter schmaltz when putting strings to swing. And even fewer possess her sense for dulcet harmonies and exquisitely developed form — the patient listener is rewarded with a probing, big-R Romantic, strings-only cadenza at the end. Rarer still is the mind that could put it all together in a way that proclaims itself as the work of an improvising musician. Beauty may be hard to find in jazz, but as Iversen proves, that doesn't mean it's dormant in familiar elements, waiting to be expressed." - Patrick Jarenwattananon, NPR Music
"A masterful reach across jazz and classical music" - Forrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Times