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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nils Petter Molvær: Switch

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From his first major recording date almost thirty years ago, Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær has been a unique innovator with a seemingly insatiable appetite for testing new waters. Beginning with Masquarelo's seminal ECM Records debut, Bande à Part (1985), Molvær joined with the already established bassist Arild Andersen and his long-time collaborator, drummer Jon Christensen. Along with Jon Balke on keyboards and saxophonist Tore Brunborg, the quintet represented a Nordic lineup whose individual members continue to make significant contributions to the global music scene. Molvær's fascination with the manipulation of all aspects of phrasing, his incorporation of ...

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Nils Petter Molvaer in Benrath Forest

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Nils Petter Molvær: Lucid DreamBenrath Forest Duesseldorf, GermanyMay 31, 2014 Nils Petter Molvær's ambient sound and light installation, Lucid Dream, was performed in Germany on the last night of May, 2014. The floating dreaminess of the music was enhanced by sound designer Jørgen Larsson and lighting/video artist Pekka Stokke. Molvær has elaborated the concept of the performance together with Beate Schüler, who was also the curator of the event. The performance, sounding the elusive territory of the consciousness, in close co-resonance with nature, has been conceived as a one-hour journey in five stations: “Gong"; “Bullfrog"; ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nils Petter Molvaer: Switch

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Sometimes when forced into change, the best thing to do is toss what came before and shoot for something completely different. With Stian Westerhus leaving trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær's trio after three years of extensive touring and the sole, spectacular document Baboon Moon (Sula, 2011), Molvær's career--defined, since emerging in the mid-'80s with the acclaimed group Masqualero, by a restless drive for evolution and surprisingly regular revolution--was at a crossroad. If there's anything predictable about this spearhead to a new generation of Norwegian musicians with the groundbreaking Khmer (ECM, 1997), however, it's his complete and utter unpredictability. Who'd have imagined, ...

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Scene Norway 2 at King's Place

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Scene Norway 2 Artist-in-Residence: Nils Petter Molvær King's Place, London, UK November 15-17, 2013 Walking into King's Place, in London, England, is an experience in itself. A building opened in 2008 near King's Cross station in downtown London, it was built with the kind of foresight that is rare these days. Above ground is office space, largely occupied by The Guardian newspaper, along with two restaurants and a large, welcoming open space with plenty of comfortable seating for people to meet, work and socialize together. But it's the below-ground space that has ...

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Nils Petter Molvaer: The Trumpet Does the Dreaming

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Nils Petter Molvaer has long reached the musical excellence that places him amongst the most accomplished contemporary jazz musicians. As an early exponent of Nu Jazz, he mapped out a virgin musical territory and contributed to the branding of the Nordic Sound, today a genre in its own right, and still in full expansion. Molvaer's sonic hallmark--traced back to Miles Davis by many jazz critics, and accredited by himself to Jon Hassell--has that unique quality in which the ethereal dreaminess of tone and the abyssal richness of textures coexist. His most recent collaboration project, realized together with the ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nils Petter Molvaer & Moritz von Oswald: 1/1

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With the breakup of his trio responsible for the superb Baboon Moon (Sula, 2011), it's been a fair question to wonder: what's next for Nils Petter Molvær? One possible answer is certainly 1/1, the Norwegian trumpeter's debut with German multi- instrumentalist and influential techno producer Moritz von Oswald and his nephew, Laurens. The trio's debut performance at Kristiansand, Norway's 2013 Punkt Festival, while strong, was largely misleading; the show certainly occupied some of 1/1's more ethereal territory, but Molvær and his partners also traveled to far more beat-driven, danceable terrain. Better, perhaps, for live performance, but being a ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Nils Petter Molvaer: Baboon Moon

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While Nils Petter Molvær's last release--the first after breaking up his band of ten years--demonstrated plenty of change for the Norwegian trumpeter, he still relied on two of that group's most significant players: live sampler Jan Bang and, most importantly, guitarist Eivind Aarset, who contributed to eight of its ten tracks. Still, Hamada (Sula, 2009) began to move away from the programmed beats of er (Sula, 2005), towards a harder-edged sound--driven, in no small part, by drummer Audun Kleive's thundering work on one of the album's strongest and most decidedly different tracks, “Cruel Altitude." The explosive combination ...



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