release date: 24.04.2020
It is with great pleasure for Rune Grammofon to introduce another new name to their roster. Taking their name from a Thelonious Monk quote, I LIKE TO SLEEP are three young Norwegian musicians, all 22 years old.
release date: 24.04.2020
It is with great Rune Grammofon introduce a new name to their roster. Master Oogway are four young musician aged between 23 and 26. They met at the Norwegian Academy of Music in 2015 with a common desire to play vibrant, improvised music with strong themes and room for spontaneity at a high energy level.
release date: 6th of March 2020 on Rune Grammofon
Original score by Krzysztof Penderecki had only been recorded once and as far as I am aware and it was also the only performance of it , luckily for us who didn’t exist there back in time, but now have a chance to listen to this inspirational performance and learn from that as well as understand better how it affected the further evolution of improvised music which we are familiar with today. The new reading from Mats Gustafsson, who also conducts his Fire! Orchestra.
release date: 1st of November 2019
Rune Grammofon are to release The Timeless Nowhere a 4LP set of unreleased material from Arve Henriksen. Taken from the past ten years the albums cover solo, collaborative and live performances. The four LP set includes CDs of the material and liner notes from The Hilliard Ensemble’s John Potter.
Almost two years have passed since I reviewed here the debut recording from the Norwegian Trio. Today Mulelid is only 28 years old but his maturity has established vastly since. The direction he leads his trio has been kept, but the language and communication inside the band had reached another level. All nine compositions came from the leader and they all are holding on to his lyrical and spiritual character. From that lot only the Bruremars (Wedding March) is known to me, as it had been available to stream a month ahead of time and I was enjoying it already. Equally it is the best one to prove the purpose of the Gospel spells flying over Kjetil’s compositions, with piano being so hymnal that it almost begs to introduce to choral anthem.
Far Away, lovely ballad with dancy melodic motive sways the listener gently with an emotional intensity reminding me of the unforgettable Mal Waldron.
It catches up nicely with another waltz here, Waltz for Ima, as per the title, but this comes with more Jarret’esque sense of holding culmination. Phenomenal time keeping by bassist Bjørn Marius Hegge really keeps it together and makes a wonderful clamp, together with gentle percussion approach, served by Andreas Skar Winther, between a very intense opening part and more meditative, almost rubato, rhythmic approach that Kjetil’s right hand makes until approaching an emotional outro.
Another Mulelid’s hallmark is his ability to introduce the simple, almost lapidary naïve folk tune and build a wonderful and inventive narration dragging it through multiple variations. That always reminds me an excellent Ethan Everson, who is however cold and mathematically precise in his evocations, when Mulelid is never leaving his human shell. When Winter turns Spring and Folk Song are perfect examples of such a workout.
But let’s jump back to the opening record title piece, What You Thought Was Home, wonderfully intimate and romantic and inviting to be listened to like wide open doors. You know from the first note that you are expected and welcome.
Similarly closing Homecoming guides you through the journey to the very end, never feeling lost or in any need for tracking the modus vivendi.
My favourite track however on that recording, the one which I keep coming back to is Tales. It is a pure essence of the Trio’s style. Here all the skills that the band possesses as a sum up of their personalities. It merges here with an immersive euphony. The pace, the mood control, the lyricism of the tone control and this always present sense of spirituality is almost like a Holy Trinity in the Bible. Perfection you can Feel, even if it goes beyond your imagination or descriptive capabilities.
An excellent come back after two years of silence warmly welcome by myself and I am sure it will become by others shortly and for a long time too.
release date: 6th of June 2019
Elephant9, probably the most recognisable psychedelic -jazz – rock band from Norway is with us now well over decade, marking their existence with creative productivity almost every year or two , always with the same trusted label, Rune Grammofon. Psychedelic Backfire double bill is the latest tenon, since the well reclaimed Greatest Show On Earth, we have seen and heard last year.
Release date 24.05.19
Five years already past since I last time have seen the whole orchestra on the stage: The Large Unit – 28 musicians. Seeing first big squad realise again makes my heard thrilling.
Their first two albums, Exit (2013) and Enter (2014), presented us with sizeable and ambitious line-ups of 28 musicians. Ritual (2016) saw it reduced to 21 and with Arrival it´s been trimmed down to a “mere” 14, with the core trio of Fire! (Mats Gustafsson, Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin) and the two singers Mariam Wallentin and Sofia Jernberg being the only constant members since the beginning. Apart from this reduction, the main line-up difference is the introduction of a string quartet.
I was awaiting this record to come for two years now. To make a long story short once I heard the Trio on the stage with guest appearance of Andy Sheppard I knew that they got no other choice than to record it. If it was so clear to me it must had been even more to them. Simples 😉 And there it is. Rune wouldn’t let it go either.
The lyrical, woolly and embracing feeling that EET creates makes one falling in love with it immediately and it doesn’t surprise me at all that their popularity rises fast and shows sell full. Andy fits into this world like a hand into the glove. His own language is equally lyrical and fragile and it belongs to the trio in the same natural way.
It becomes clear when you listen to the previous recordings and starting to asking yourself when the sax is going to join? An open character of Espen’s compositions would kind of allow that any time, with slight twist to the tempo maybe, when it comes to the faster ones.
Title ballad is one of my favourite here. It possesses all the quality I value so high with that band but in the same time brings a lot of space to accommodate saxophonist. It happens by listening of course and by gentle re-arrangements. Rhythm slowing down here and there to keep on time with Andy’s smooth breath. That again shows the high skills of the drummer as he makes it so natural that it almost takes all the trouble out of the bassist.
The fragility of the Above the Horizon, almost makes you fly straight from an opening note. Amazing how easy it is for them to create such an instant illusion. Andy to me is one of these musicians who’s being long time looking for his own voice. He always sounded to me a bit like Garbarek, a bit like Henderson and these are just his recent ECM recordings which are showing his own fully grown voice. And so wonderful it is.
1974 is one of such tracks I have no knowledge who composed it but is sounds so Andy that I have no doubts. Sax figures are having perfect pace here, and the sound blossoms with every note, which is so rounded and fine that there is no better way to play it. The way how piano dialogues with sax encharms, so does the ability of the rhythm section to merge into the tissue so deep that they become almost harmonics for the piano.
Indian Summer simply paints the perfect picture. So many colours that it becomes difficult to trace. Sax, dry like a summer air and in the same time warm in tone, sketches watercolours between your ears. You can almost feel the sun rays on your face and distant buzz of flies. This piece reminds me the feeling I used to have when listening to early Pat Matheny recordings, so folksy in their melodic aspect.
Following Suburban Folk Song leaves no doubts where the inspiration came from. And indeed repetitive motive multiplied in piano layers and covered with the brass lines make perfect reference to the Nordic folklore.
Naked Trees , is another example of the perfectly illustrative nature of the tunes they committed in Quartet. Waltz alike melody flirts with elegiac sax lines flying high and the thrill bringing incredible gentleness to the feeling.
Saying that it is another great recording from EET would be trivial. This music is too beautiful to put margins like that. One needs simply to hear and feel it to understand. It is the way it touches and comforts you mind ,feeling etc., more than it sounds like. Just taste to feel and we can talk about it later.