Norwegian guitarist Håkon Storm's sixth album Fosfor features his artistic mastery of the solo guitar. Storm is a gifted storyteller. His evocative, melodious lines intensify the expressive, poetic playing style that is often exploratory, suggesting exotic soundscapes. Storm uses a variety of guitars that allow him to stress distinctive originality as a composer and improviser. The album's warm, crystalline sound was captured beautifully by sound guru Jan Erik Kongshaug at the legendary Rainbow studio in Oslo, home-base of many ECM recordings.
The eleven listed pieces, plus a hidden and untitled bonus track, unfold as continuous chapters in a colorful journey. The opening, traditional Norwegian "Hu Hei," sets a gentle, mysterious atmosphere. Storm embraces acoustic guitar tones with subtle electric effects. This reserved vein is followed on "Klorofyll" and John Taylor's "Ambleside." Both are solo acoustic pieces, that suggest sympathetic portraits of innocent places and memories.
The short "Barbeint" changes course with dramatic tension, that grows even wilder on the upbeat, eventful story of "Willie Pete." Storm continues with a thicker narrative, "Tölt / Ross," in which one restless electric guitar plays the leadtelling an elaborate story with many shifts in its plot and another sets a rhythmic, unsettling atmosphere even as it mutates into slower, spacey lines. The dark , melancholic atmosphere brightens with a brilliant arrangement of Keith Jarrett's "Questar" and on the title-piece. Both are masterful, multi-layered solo showcases and pay tribute to the seminal influence of ECM aesthetics and, obviously, to the art of guitarist Ralph Towner.
Storm chooses to end this most beautiful journey with a heartfelt arrangement of the romantic standard "My One and Only Love," followed by the peaceful untitled piece that demonstrates again, his unique, highly personal style.
Hu Hei; Klorofyll; Ambleside; Barbeint; Willie Pete; Tölt / Ross;
Questar; Atom 15; Fosfor;Skrømt; My One and Only Love; Untitled.
Håkon Storm: acoustic and electric guitars.
| Year Released: 2014
| Record Label: NORCD