Henrik Jansberg Band/Dièse 3 The Arches, Glasgow ****
It's a gratifying measure of Celtic Connections' international standing to see how excited first-time acts are to be playing here. One such was the arresting young Breton trio Dise 3, on fiddle, electric guitar and bass clarinet, whose collective CV encompasses festo-noz ("night dances") tradition along with jazz, metal and electro-rock, plus a form of free improvisation called "sound painting".
The music's adventurous diversity was anchored by catchy, groove-based fiddle motifs, around which the guitar ducked and dived from shimmering plangency to bare-knuckle ferocity, while the clarinet's growl and expansive range artfully straddled tune and rhythm.
The incremental progressions of minimalism were another evident influence, although some of Dise 3's needed editing, and the sound-painting interlude is perhaps best glossed over. Full marks for inventive ambition, though, and deserving of their warm festival welcome.
It was Danish fiddler Henrik Jansberg and his four-piece band's second Celtic Connections visit, but they were clearly just as chuffed to be back, and repaid the invite with a beautifully arrayed performance, centred on Jansberg's sumptuous original tunes as well as handpicked traditional material, in arrangements contrasting between exquisite chamber-style delicacy and rampaging acoustic rock.
With their frontman's warmly resonant, boldly modulated playing flanked by guitar/mandolin, double bass, piano and cajon, the line-up delivered a fully-fledged, often resplendent ensemble sound, full of dynamic variety underpinned by top-rank musicianship.