release date: 26.02.2021 via Rune Grammofon
release date: 26.02.2021 via Rune Grammofon
Not the most optimistic title for pressing times, but the music sees Fire! tracking new paths and reaching new levels of excellence, still honoring their 12 year old vow of presenting a fresh approach to improvised music. On their 6th recording as a trio concept, The Fire! burns the scares in your ears and as always makes listening to it an unforgettable experience. On that occasion the groups striking power had been increased by two extra front men, so the Firepower of Mats Gustafsson‘s reeds had been straightened with extra horns with a trumpet, trombone and the sousaphone.
Norwegian release date: 12.06.2020
Worldwide release date: 03.07.2020
via Rune Grammofon
Eknidna, the latest project from renowned Norwegian guitarist Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen, takes us further than her usual well recognized trio or her fronting performance with The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Here, doubled to the sextet band, equally spread between female & male powers with interesting instrumental approach challenges listeners, even those who already took regular trio as a grant. But like everything in life that also didn’t happen by an accident, even if certain amount of time have passed from the start. Lets get to the start then.
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.