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Pixel: Golden Years


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Pixel: Golden Years
Pixel is not your prototypical Scandinavian jazz ensemble, evidenced by many ECM Records recording artists' known for integrating atmospherics and chamber-jazz proclivities into wide- open or temperate jazz improvisational forums. Of course, this is not a bad thing, yet the quartet adheres more to an Indie progressive jazz-centric rock vibe, largely fed by bassist, vocalist Ellen Andrea Wang's contempo and pop-like singing atop brisk grooves and hummable melodic content.

With its third album, the Norwegian quartet takes a few detours into duskier musical environments, initiated upon budding theme-building episodes and the soloists' subdued improvisational dialogues. But Wang's distinct and booming acoustic bass lines append a solid and pliant foundation regardless of tempo on pieces such as the swashbuckling and rumbling "Nothing Beats Reality" and the introspective "Arp," where the hornists' exchanges spark a moody perspective.

The band instills its customary pop-jazz frameworks om the cool and sleek "Move On," featuring Wang's snazzy vocals and overlaid choruses with the frontline, while contrasting the sweet attributes of the pensive, "Slinky" via off-center metrics and Jonas Kilmork Vemoy's echoing trumpet lines. Otherwise, the 1:18 minute closer "Airborne," evolves more as a filler piece with an anthem type underpinning and a relatively indistinguishable primary motif.

To a certain extent, Golden Years hints at the band's willingness to explore and spring into other realms, revved up by Vemoy and saxophonist Harald Lassen's upbeat improv discourses. From a maturation point of view, they are clearly exploring avenues that are a tad outside the box. Moreover, the core jazz element does indeed sustain the musicians' guiding principles, and this release intimates that the group does not wish to simply dwell upon what it has accomplished thus far.

Track Listing

Rainforest; People Pleaser; Nothing Beats Reality; Our Beauty; Arp; Dani Anana; Move On; I Have the Right To Go to Syden; Slinky; Space Is Going to the Moon; Airborne.


Ellen Andrea Wang: double bass, vocal; Harald Lassen: saxophone, vocal, bongo; Jonas Kilmork Vemoy: trumpet, vocal; Jon Audun Baar: drums, percussion, vocal.

Album information

Title: Golden Years | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Cuneiform Records

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