This is the 2nd production of the JATBP , the project that Siggi Loch of Act Music started two years back and successfully continues. Since that four editions took place and three of them had been already issued.
Originally takes had been made for the broadcasting purpose, but massive success of a fully sold out events, fan’s demands and finally what is most important : Artists’ own satisfaction from the project quality turned it into an existing and growing on series of live recordings.
As previous related to Piano Works or already running Live at the Schloss Elmau , this one became a equally great success. Very clever words puzzle alluding to Haruki Murakami’s best-seller book does exactly the same favour as referring to the original Norman Grantz’s JATP slogan which every jazz lover around the globe recognises as good as he does a Mercedes Benz Logo 😉 for example.
It is addressing artists’ origin spot on giving a flavour of music we can expect. Here we got an In the Country trio, vocalist Solveig Slettahjell, pianist Bugge Wesseltoft and guitarist Knut Reiersrud. Solveig and Bugge are long time collaborators and they know each other very well. It is easy to hear.
In the Country however comes here at its own. All starts gently with an traditional song arrangement which at first spins gently, flowing over trio accompaniment. The spirit of folk song is constantly present, but it’s purity can only be heard in the choruses. Bugge’s piano turns all upside down giving the piece an immaculate drive. With all re-verbs from the keyboard it holds very contemporary character.
Following Can I Come Home Now left all directions in the trios hands. It is a wonderful composition very often reaching the same high emphasis we remember from EST. It just shows how Esbjorn’s music is still alive and mutating in other musicians’ imaginations. Here Knut joins with hts guitar supplying sound-scapes deeply rooted in a blues and bringing associations with Bill Frisell’s sound.
Have a Little Faith following keeps all in safe and joyful ballad territory, but sonic aura delivered by trio, especially sparkling cymbals re-verbs dialogue with a squeaking guitar wah wah effects sets it far from rock classic original. Solveig’s voice has already sublime tone in this song but is still far from anthem like culmination coming in closing cover of the famous Led Zeppelin’s song: Nobody’s Fault But Mine.
Piano solo Bugge plays in Chicken Feather is nothing but genial. With power forcing respect and the hypnotic imponderability it clearly steals the show at that very moment.Knut’s composition Jargo played after on guitar solo brings a nice and well balanced counterpoint for its heavy meaning. Coming after Sæterjentens Søndag is collective arrangement which is said to be based on Ole Bull’s classic piece of music, but it honestly sounds more like a marriage of the blues with a saraband.
It is not an accident that the leading force of European Jazz today takes that much from the Scandinavian folk traditions. But these things happened in Germany for the very first time when ECM popularised Garbarek’s music in 70’s and what Siggi Loch is doing is just the next ACT of the same play.
A must have recording for every Jazz fan and live music recording enthusiast.