With all the controversy over what jazz is--and, more to the point, what it isn't--proprietary ownership often seems more about seemingly insurmountable cultural concerns. It's difficult for those living in the relative hustle and bustle of North American cities to appreciate a different pace, a different vibe--the effect, for example, of winters where daylight diminishes to a few short hours in the south of a country, to the far north, where polar winter imposes darkness for upwards of four months. Equally, the impact of living in a country where nature, rather than being something escaped to, is ever-present, cannot be ...read more
Recorded at legendary Rainbow Studios in Oslo, Norway, Eple Trio's second album, The Widening Sphere of Influence is an apt title, revealing the evolution of the trio and the incorporation of new sonorities a year on from its fine debut, Made This(NORCD. 2007). That album announced the arrival of a trio distinctive for the subtlety and beauty of its playing and the sparseness of its arrangements. The blend of Norwegian folk sounds--waltz, lullaby and church influences--minimalist European classical tradition and elements of jazz with the most sparing use of drums (odd given that drummer Jonas Sjovaag wrote nearly half the ...read more
If there's a singular specific approach that Scandinavian musicians have brought to jazz, it's a temporal elasticity where time is often fluid, whether or not it's clearly defined. While rubato playing is nothing new, it's become a trademark through the playing of pianists like Bobo Stenson, Tord Gustavsen...and now, Andreas Ulvo and Eple Trio. As different as it is from Maria Kannegaard's Camel Walk (Jazzland, 2008) and Stenson's Cantando (ECM, 2008), Eple Trio shares the exploration of space, understatement and slow tempos. But as keyboardist for the more progressive rock-inflected Shining, Ulvo may approach silence rather than ear-shattering extremes on ...read more
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