Wibutee: Eight Domestic Challenges (2002)
Jazzland Records has really hit its stride with recent releases. Just as the most distinctive labels (such as Blue Note or ECM) not only have a recognisable sound but also their own unique style, so Jazzland has now developed a look that matches the music. Its design and graphic style is now simultaneously cool, modern and detached, a perfect complement to its music, "the new sound of Oslo."
In many ways, this second release from Wibutee typifies Jazzland. The basic instrumentation of saxophones, bass and drums places Wibutee firmly within a jazz tradition, but the added elements of electronics and beats radically shift that tradition, creating "future jazz."
This music is derived from elements of dub, trip-hop, ambient and electronica but transcends all of them. Although there are solo instrumental contributions throughout, some of them individually remarkable (none more so than Kornstad's sax on "First There Was Jazz"), virtuoso soloing plays a comparatively small part in the totality. A persistent, bass-heavy pulse and sampled sounds are just as important to the overall soundscape. This is a collective music, rather than an individual music.
Anyone familiar with recent Jazzland would instantly recognise Eight Domestic Challenges as from the same stable. To know that an album is on Jazzland is rapidly becoming recommendation enough for some of us.
Track Listing: Into Shapes; Vibhuti; Herbs & Heights; First There Was Jazz; Up And Away; Dubelec; Last Stroke
Personnel: Hakon Kornstad, tenor sax, soprano sax, flutes, fluteonet; Per Zanussi, double bass, electric bass; Wetle Holte, drums, percussion; Sternklang, electronics; Gulleiv Wee, electronics
Record Label: Jazzland Recordings