The chugging rhythm of the train is a staple of country music, the rolling four-count evoking the promises of opportunity and escape across vast open lands. Traditionally that rhythm is portrayed by an acoustic guitar or brushes on a snare drum, not tablas and much less mechanized ones. But Norwegian trio Huntsville isnâ????t a traditional country band, or a traditional anything else for that matter. It does, however, cite country music, along with John Cage, Morton Feldman and drone music, among its influences, and Ivar Grydelandâ????s banjo and steel guitar make the Americana hard to miss. Tonny Kluftenâ????s slow, steady upright bass is most often the foundation for the four long pieces on For the Middle Class, Huntsvilleâ????s debut album, while Ingar Zachâ????s fast percussionoften comprised of modified and motorized Indian instrumentspropels them.
Thrown together, these elements donâ????t really add up to country music. But itâ????s as close to that as anythingsomething like Bill Frisellâ????s recent work, but pumped up and layered thick. The thick fog isnâ????t a surpriseall three have worked with the improv group No Spaghetti Edition, and Grydeland and Zach are founders of the Sofa labelbut when it clears, the countryside is unexpected.
Track Listing: The Appearance of a Wise Child; Serious Like a Pope; Add a Key of Humanity; Melon.
Personnel: Iver Grydeland: acoustic and electric guitars, banjo, pedal steel guitar, radio, electronics, organ and voice; Tony Kluften: bass, rhythm machine and glockenspiel; Ingar Zach: percussion, tabla machine, sarangi box and shruti box.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.