Norwegian jazz is as vital as ever and one can but wonder where it all comes from. With ”Yonkers” Eyolf Dale (26) and André Roligheten (26) are already three albums into their career and showing a maturity in writing and playing that is betraying their age considerably.
The album was recorded during what the duo descibe as a magic late night session in the Oktaven Audio studio in Yonkers just outside New York City. The music is contemporary jazz with threads to both American and European traditions, structured compositions paired with improvisation; playful and melodic, modern and accessible. Eyolf and André met at school in the small town of Skien and have played together since the age of seventeen. The duo formally started in 2006, followed by rehearsals and concerts.
They won the annual JazzIntro prize at Molde Int. Jazz Festival in 2008 and the ”best band” category at the European Jazz Competition at the North Sea Jazz in 2009, with jury leader Maria Schneider commenting ”most original, great interplay and amazing improvisation, effective and colourful compositions”. The same year also saw the release of their debut album ”Seagull Island” followed by ”Mystery Orchestra with Grenager & Tafjord” (2010), both receiving great reviews, the latter named best Norwegian jazz record of the year in national paper Dagsavisen.
Grenager and Tafjord are both founder members of SPUNK, the all female impro quartet that has released six albums on Rune Grammofon. Eyolf Dale got his exams at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 2009 and received a master degree in improvisation at the same academy in the spring of 2011.
He recently released a solo piano record and is also playing in Hayden Powell Trio and Kompen Quintet. André Roligheten got his exams at Jazzlinja at NTNU in Trondheim in 2009. Like Eyolf, he also has a master degree in improvisation from the Norwegian Academy of Music. Other bands and project include Team Hegdal and Trondheim Jazzorkester.
1. Albony & Ivory
3. Major Little
4. Coral Fox
6. Central Park
7. Pickup Truck
1. Son Of King
2. A Throne For The Common Man
3. Write Your Thoughts In Water
1. Sleeping Instruments
2. The Beginner
3. The Learning Curve
1. Turn Back. Undo
2. A Book Of Lightning
3. The Future Of Norwegian Wood
4. Exit Virtuoso
1. Bedlam Emblem
2. The Northeast Passage
1. Islands Of Memory
2. Objects Began To Appear From The Future
3. Violence And Magical Danger
4. Fire's For Burning
6. Idea-Changing Liquid Alchemy
7. Your Secret Flesh
8. As Complicated And As Beautiful As Always
9. Drunk Dj's
Cosmic Creation follows and expands upon Arve Henriksen’s 2013 album Places Of Worship, a series of tone poems and mood pieces located around religious buildings and ruins.
With Cosmic Creation he has gone beyond physical place to an audio exploration of pure rapture, contemplation and universal origins.
Cosmic Creation 1–8
6. Plume Of Ash
7. Magma Oscillator
9. First Life
10. Plate Tectonic
Vinyl edition is the first pressing of 500. Includes a CD.
Worship can come in many forms, and can happen in many different kinds of place. Music can make its church anywhere. With Places Of Worship, Arve Henriksen moves into the front rank of world class musicians. The Norwegian trumpet player has made his mark over many years, not only as the horn player with the consistently challenging and long lived group Supersilent, but also as the purveyor of exquisite and distinctive solo work that stretches to four solo albums since 2001, which Rune Grammofon recently repackaged as a career-spanning box set, Solidification.
3. Le Cimetière Marin
4. The Sacristan
9. Abandoned Cathedral
10. Shelter From The Storm
1. Sanmon – Main Entrance
2. Viewing Infinite Space
3. Inside Tea-House
4. Peaceful – Close To Cherry Trees
5. Procession Passing
6. Evening Call
8. Beauty Of Bamboos
9. Tsukubai – Washbasin
10. Planting Trees Creating Beauty
11. "Stones Should Never Be Placed Carelessly"
12. White Gravel
14. Paths Around The Pond
15. Children In My Garden
Something of an international supergroup, the founding of this excellent ensemble is a touch of genius that remains something of a mystery.
Hand-picked by writer and film-maker Philip Mullarkey to record and play live as part of the art/film project [box], the four musicians met for the first time in Atlantis Studio in Stockholm for two short days of recording without having planned, scored or prepared any music in advance.
It quickly became apparent that this avant-garde juggernaut was heading in the right direction - the musical interplay making it hard to believe that these complex pieces were actually improvised on the spot - again, a testament to instant music making at the highest level.
Raoul Björkenheim, guitar (Scorch Trio)
Trevor Dunn, bass (Mr. Bungle, Fantomas, John Zorn)
Ståle Storløkken, keyboards (Supersilent, Humcrush)
Morgan Ågren, drums (Mats / Morgan, Zappa´s Universe)
Vinyl edition includes voucher for free MP3 download of the whole album.
It´s no secret that we have a soft spot for this fabulous group and would wish nothing less than world domination for them. What they do seems to be an almost lost art when it comes to making records. Basically meaning great musicians playing together in a proper recording studio, interacting and playing off each other. The tracks are mostly first or second takes, there is no editing and just a couple of overdubs on the whole album. And while guitarist Even Helte Hermansen is the natural focal point there are no big egos at work here, this is a solid unit where all members are equally important for the end result. Just listen to the ”loose but tight” interplay on the opening track, an energetic and joyful interpretation of Sonny Sharrock´s ”As We Used To Sing”. And they´re all still in their twenties.
”Bonanza” is their fourth album, the third on Rune Grammofon. It was recorded and mixed in Atlethic Studio in Halden, Norway in summer 2011. Bushman´s Revenge was founded by Even and Gard back in 2003 in their hometown of Skien, a couple of hours south of Oslo, while Rune joined from the northern town of Bodø. Even was a member of ”blackjazzers” Shining and grew up listening to Kiss, Pantera, Sepultura, Faith No More, Frank Zappa and John Coltrane, while Gard and Rune met at the Jazz Academy in Trondheim, breeding ground for musicians like Arve Henriksen, Ståle Storløkken, Nils Petter Molvær and many more. Gard also plays with pop sensation Susanne Sundfør and in Puma with Øystein Moen (Jaga Jazzist) and young guitar experimentalist Stian Westerhus.
1. As We Used To Sing
2. No More Dead Bodies For Daddy Tonight
3. Jeg Baker Kokosboller
4. John Lennon Was The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived
5. Iron Bloke
7. Tinnitus Love Poem
8. Hent Tollekniven Ivar, Det Har Standa En Hval
1. Always In Motion The Future Is
2. Kill Your Jitterbug Darlings
3. While My Guitar Gently Breaks
4. Too Old To Die Young
5. Wind And Fire
6. Professor Chaos
7. Damage Case (Happy Go Lucky Karaoke Version)
8. Personal Poltergeist
9. Waltz For My Good Man
Vinyl edition includes voucher for free MP3 download of the whole album.
The second album from this trio of young (all are 25) musicians shows a distinct development from their slightly patchy but very promising debut ”Cowboy Music” (Jazzaway, 2007).
Founded by Even and Gard in 2003 in their hometown of Skien, a couple of hours from Oslo, the trio aim to combine the jazz/improv background of the rhythm section with the rock/metal background of leader, composer and guitarist Even Helte Hermansen to create their own expressive music inspired by names like Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix as well as Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler. Even grew up with groups and musicians like Kiss, Pantera, Sepultura, Faith No More, Frank Zappa and John Coltrane.
He is also a member of such diverse groups as Shining and Solveig Slettahjell´s Slow Motion Orchestra. Rune is from the northern town of Bodø and also plays in Humvee and Eirik Hegdal Quartet, while Gard can be found in Puma, Humvee and Lord Kelvin. Both have a background from the Jazz Academy in Trondheim, breathing ground for musicians like Arve Henriksen, Ståle Storløkken, Nils Petter Molvær and many more. Musically ”You Lost Me At Hello” has an untamed energy to it and shows a looser and rougher side than the debut. At the same time the album as a whole seems more focused.
The production is quite heavy with a dark and dirty side to it. In the Rune Grammofon catalogue ”You Lost Me At Hello” is probably most comparable to Scorch Trio, with a more rocking edge to it, and Motorpsycho. Regarding the origin of the bandname, there´s a real ”this one goes to eleven” story attached to it. Even had a nasty and near fatal encounter with an insanely hot South African Chilli sauce of the same name bursting the hot-o-meter and laying waste strong contenders such as Bushman´s Fire and Bushman´s Hot AZ Hell... A fitting name to a blasting group....
1. Count The Holes In Your Head
2. Bølehøgda Rock City
4. Hell Is For Hello
5. King Of Hello
6. Ghostwriters In The Sky
7. No Sleep 'Till Hammerfest
8. Champagne For My Real Friends
First pressing of 500, includes CD.Titles inspired by Gunnar Ekelof (1907 - 1968)
May come as a surprise, but in the history of jazz and improvisation the saxophone duet is remarkably rare. Sax players tend to lock horns with drummers, bassists, trumpeters, even cellists and violinists, but rarely with each other. Perhaps it’s the force of personality that the sax is associated with: this studio ain’t big enough for the both of us.
But here to blow that convention out of the water come two of the planet’s most uncompromising and inventive young hornithologists, Colin Stetson and Mats Gustafsson. Mats Gustafsson, a Swede born in 1964, has perfected the art of the vein-popping, no-compromise blowout, and has appeared with Sonic Youth, Jim O’Rourke, Boredoms’ Yoshimi P-We, improvising legends Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Peter Brötzmann and Ken Vandermark.
His own free jazz power trio The Thing recently released the acclaimed Cherry Thing album with Neneh Cherry; while his Fire! trio with Johan Berthling and Andreas Werliin have released three CDs already on Rune Grammofon. He has also worked extensively in other media, including dance, painting, theatre and poetry.
Colin Stetson is a member of Arcade Fire’s touring group, and his prodigious bass saxophone tones have been called on by a host of American alternative acts including Bon Iver, Tom Waits, Laurie Anderson, TV On The Radio, David Byrne, Feist, My Brightest Diamond, LCD Soundsystem and many more. He was born in Michigan and is currently based in Montreal, Canada, where he recorded his latest solo album, New History Warfare Vol 2: Judges for local label Constellation.
The four tracks on Stones were recorded live on stage at the 2011 Vancouver Jazz Festival. Miraculously, this explosive encounter was also their first meeting. ‘It was completely magic,” remembers Mats. ‘All was there, the communication, the interaction, the music, the mystery...’ The titles were partly inspired by the Swedish poet Gunnar Ekelöf (1907–1968), of whom Mats says, ‘He is the foundation of Swedish modern poetry.
There is so much music in the way he constructs his work. It is extremely inspiring, on all levels. Ekelöf is the man.’ From the long throaty drones that open ‘Stones That Rest Heavily’ to the slithering and flutter-tonguing interplay of ‘Stones That Need Not’, it’s clear that this duo is intent on alchemising their brass tubes into liquid gold. But they mainly use low-end instruments like the bass and baritone sax, which emit deep, warm vibrations. And unlike the more in your face free improvisation, there’s an underlying tunefulness that draws you in and envelops you. ‘Colin is playing songs,’ says Mats, ‘and I love that... real songs with great structures and directions! The song quality is still there... but he freakin’ rocks in the way he interacts and improvises.’
This is fire music that smoulders in the dark. Perhaps this will give the sax duo a new lease of life. After all, as Mats says, there’s ‘No escape... nothing to hide... you just need to go out there and interact!’
1. Stones That Rest Heavily
2. Stones That Can Only Be
3. Stones That Need Not
4. Stones That Only Have
Debut album from ”young veterans” of the Norwegian heavy and progressive scenes, fronted by singer, guitarist, writer and producer Ole Petter Andreassen. This is classic, heavy, guitardriven and melodic progressive rock, the playing and production being top notch with a natural mix of solid riffs, intricate instrumental passages and great hooks.
The core of the band, apart from Andreassen, is Hedvig Mollestad on guitar and Hammond organ and brothers Brynjar and Haavard Takle Ohr from El Cuero on lead guitar and drums respectively. Guests include Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen from Elephant9 on bass, Ståle Storløkken from Elephant9 and Supersilent on Hammond, Mikael Lindquist on Hammond and Mellotron and veteran Jon Eberson on guitar.
Jazz guitarist Eberson, now 60 and more vital than ever, arrived at the studio, insisted on not hearing any music, plugged in, burned his way through ”It´s Electric” and ”The Hook” and was home in time for an early dinner. Eilertsen and Storløkken is widely reckognised to be two of Norway´s top instrumentalists in any category and Håvard Takle Ohr is probably the best rock drummer in the country at the moment, to watch him live is a revelation.
All the material is written by Andreassen, with some help on four of the tracks. He has been involved in around 20 albums and most notably been a member of Thulsa Doom and The Cumshots but this is the first album where he is in total control. He is also owner of Caliban Studio, home to many great sounding Norwegian albums. He has been nominated for four Norwegian Grammys and won two.
1. Fire Don't Know
2. It's Electric
3. With Full Force
4. The Hook
5. The Lights
6. Subtle As A Shithouse
7. Red Flag
2LP set including both the new and previous album. Comes with MP3 download.
The 2LP vinyl edition includes his previous album (RCD 2096) and full mp3 download of both albums. Different sleeve design from the CD edition. On their second album this most melodic trio continue in the same tradition as on their highly acclaimed debut from 2010, a tradition that implies typically Scandinavian elements such as folk music, melancholia and the deep woods.
In that respect it´s fair to say that he belongs to the same tradition as Tord Gustavsen and the late Esbjörn Svensson, even Jan Johanson in some respects, but without really sounding like any of them. But it´s also fair to say that the trio´s less is more approach is in stark contrast to many contemporary piano trios, with shorter tunes and strong focus on melodic content.
On ”What Took You So Long” you will find eight new Eriksen compositions and two quite unlikely cover versions. ”Oslo”, the lovely and captivating track that ends the album, was written in the shade of 22nd July and captures both sadness and optimism in a simple and unsentimental way. Espen Eriksen´s musical background is varied, ranging from pop music to jazz and the church organ. He has played with top Norwegian jazz musicians like Bendik Hofseth, Mats Eilertsen and Thomas Strønen and was for three years pianist, arranger and composer for singer Christina Bjordal leading up to her international debut, ”Brighter Days”, for Universal Music in 2006.
Bassist Lars Tormod Jenset lived and worked as a musician in Copenhagen for seven years before relocating to Norway in 2007. He is also a member of Hot N Spicy (DK/NO), Bendik Giske Kvintett (NO) and Rodent (ISL). Andreas Bye is one of Norway´s most requested drummers in jazz and pop. He was a member of Bugge Wesseltofts New Conception Of Jazz and has played with John Scofield, Joshua Redman, John Taylor, Dhafer Yousef, Nils Petter Molvær, Håkon Kornstad and many others.
What Took You So Long:
1. All Good Things
2. Third Stop
3. On The Sea
5. We Don't Need Another Hero
1. Passing By
2. Could It Be Magic
3. Dusk Of Dawn
You Had Me At Goodbye:
3. In The Woods
4. Masaka Tsara
1. Not Even In Brazil
3. On The Jar
4. To Whom It May Concern