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Territory: The Netherlands
Athletic Progression — Jonas Cook (keyboard), Jonathan J. Ludvigsen (drums) and Justo Gambula (bass) — is one of the most praised and hyped, new Danish jazz bands in recent years. Hailing from Aarhus, the country’s second biggest city, the three young Danes are openly influenced by artists such as Herbie Hancock, D’Angelo and Flying Lotus, yet have a sound completely of their own; instantly recognisable and insanely catchy.
Since making their debut in 2016, the band has gone from strength to strength. Their debut EP Dark Smoke was released through Super Bad Disco (DK) / HHV Records (DE) in January 2019; the labelʼs first release since Berlin Zoo in 2017. In 2020 they released their self-titled, debut album, which received 5* in Danish national newspaper, Politiken, who noted their “impressive musical development…sharper on the instruments, more interesting compositions, and then you can feel that they have found each other as musicians and as a united unit.”
In 2021, they are set to release their third project cloud high in dreams, but heavy in the air with Errol and Alex Rita’s burgeoning UK-based record label, Touching Bass; already responsible for cult, critically-acclaimed records from Demae, cktrl and Hiatus Kaiyote’s Clever Austin.
What makes the sound of Athletic Progression so special is the interplay of simplicity and complexity whenever they play live. Songs from Athletic Progression are full of superb invention and yet the songs never sound overloaded, complicated or even strained.
It’s no surprise then that they’ve appeared on Danish national television, received airplay from the likes of Touching Bass (NTS Radio), Gilles Peterson (BBC Radio/Worldwide FM) and Jamie Cullum (BBC Radio), sold out multiple shows both at home and in Europe (supporting Moses Boyd and Alfa Mist) and also received three Danish Jazz award nominations (inc. Jazz Vocal Album Of The Year (for Dark Smoke), New Name Of The Year and Jonathan being put forward for Musician Of The Year).
This autumn, they head off on an extensive European tour with 30+ shows in the calendar across the UK and Europe.