All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

45

Oddgeir Berg: Before Dawn

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The evolution of the piano trio has taken us from Art Tatum to Erroll Garner to Oscar Peterson to Bud Powell to Bill Evans—with Thelonious Monk in there veering off from Ellington and the stride tradition on his own separate branch. The newest piano trio offshoot is that of groups who add electronic embellishments to their sounds, either live or sprinkled on via post recording spicings—the Swedish group the Esbjorn Svensson Trio (e.s.t.) is perhaps the highest profile example of the electro-embellished approach.

The Oddgeir Berg Trio grafts a new shoot onto the branch that e.s.t sprouted, with their superb, partially plugged-in Before Dawn, featuring the leader's original compositions.

The modern piano trio with electronic effects approach of added effects and/or electric keyboard is becoming more common. The best of these trios are grounded in the tradition, using their techno additions judiciously. Subtlety works best. Before Dawn proves itself a fine example of how to keep it engaging, pushing the limits at times—in a good way.

The set opens with "Mermaid's Dance" on a sluggish bass line slipping into a lilting rhythm, the piano/bass/drum alignment in the foreground of synthesizer wash. The sound is one of ruminative melancholy, an atmosphere in which the group revels. The key is Geir's ability to keep the effects in check, to prevent them from overpowering the concept of the piano trio as the add their enhancements.

"Oldies" has a similar tranquility and sadness about it. More traditional and prettier than the opener, it's follow-up, "Here Comes The Toughest" goes into edgier and more urgent territory, while "Sprineren" sounds like a forest tale, full of shadows and sun dapplings, and perhaps fairies fluttering in and out of the range of peripheral vision. "A.C.M."dives deeper into the "effects and electronics" realm, moving away from the previously-mentioned subtlety mode, in a way that—paired with an overall deft sequencing of the album—creates a hard to pin down listenability effect that keeps the disc spinning from start to finish.

Before Dawn is a fine debut by the Oddgeir Berg Trio. It is a group to keep an close eye and both ears on.

Track Listing: Mermaid's Dance; Oldies; Here Comes The Toughest; Springeren; Waltzie; Slattesven; A.C.M.; Ganger; Slogro; Lullaby for S.O.; Postlude.

Personnel: Oddgeir Berg: piano, keys; Karl-Joakim Wisløff: doublebass; Klaus Robert Blomvik: drums.

Title: Before Dawn | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Ozella Music

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Live CD/LP/Track Review
Live
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Humanities CD/LP/Track Review
Humanities
by David A. Orthmann
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Wild Is The Wind CD/LP/Track Review
Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Fairytales CD/LP/Track Review
Fairytales
by Gareth Thompson
Published: April 21, 2018
Read Origins CD/LP/Track Review
Origins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 20, 2018
Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018
Read "Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto" CD/LP/Track Review Reunion – Live From Cafe Oto
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 5, 2017
Read "In Stride" CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 25, 2018
Read "A Beautiful Story" CD/LP/Track Review A Beautiful Story
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 30, 2017
Read "Outside The Comfort Zone" CD/LP/Track Review Outside The Comfort Zone
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 24, 2017
Read "Rain or Shine" CD/LP/Track Review Rain or Shine
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Never Stop II" CD/LP/Track Review Never Stop II
by Samuel Stroup
Published: January 28, 2018