Norwegian trombonist Even Kruse Skatrud (now Even Skatrud Andersen after his recent marriage) selects a handful of charts from the many compositions he had previously scored over the last ten years to produce Eveneven
, his debut album as leader with his own big band. With only eight players listed as personnel on the album, the Eveneven Big Band should only be considered a medium ensemble instead of a real big band which typically consists of between twelve and nineteen musicians.
Yet when you listen to the music it's easy to be mislead in believing that you're listening to a large orchestra. With the fine arrangements, orchestrations and the assistance of a little overdubbing, Andersen manages to deliver a quality big band sound throughout. An example of this "Good Weather, which Skatrud Andersen records with only the drums, the trombonist overdubbing ten trombones to create a big band sound which, of course, could only be achieved with the aid of technology.
With few exceptions, the music is generally lively. "Forgotten, perhaps the best track on the album, happens to be a beautiful slow ballad featuring the woodwind section and Anders Aarum on a fine piano solo. The finale, "Streaming, is another very tasteful ballad arrangement. "Ten Dollar Blues, is the other exception here, offering a rather slow and dark sound like the music you would hear in a New Orleans style funeral march.
The majority of the tunes are clearly upbeat big band orchestrations, starting off with "Tiny Elephant, which the leader uses to introduce the sound of his trombone on a solo chase followed by saxophonist Børge-Are Halvorsen and a measured drum roll by Børre Dalhaug. There are two big band arrangements that rise above the rest here"It's Gumbo Time and the very swinging, Basie-like "La Premiere Fois.
Andersen makes things interesting by featuring a "fuzz trombone on the jazz/rock number "Tendenser, and scores a heavy pulsating beat on the funky "Slide Away, on which he provides another fashionable trombone solo. For a first outing Eveneven should be well-received by big band audiences and critics alike. Skatrud Andersen has put together one very fine album with big band arrangements delivering a unique sound.
Track Listing: Tiny Elephant; Mr. Johnson; It
Personnel: Even Kruse Skatrud (Andersen): leader, trombone; Frank Brodahl, Marius Holtli: trumpet;
| Year Released: 2007
| Record Label: Schmell