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Oddgeir Berg Trio: In The End Of The Night

Dan McClenaghan By

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Oddgeir Berg Trio, out of Norway, came in with a compelling and fully-formed voice from the very beginning, with a particularly fine debut, Before Dawn (Ozella Music, 2018). Headed by pianist Berg, the group has wasted no time in releasing their sophomore effort, In The End of the Night. There is something to be said for the art of being prolific, an album or two a year—something the current state of the music/recording business and diminishing CD sales seems to discourage.

The Trio's sound has been called "withdrawn and cinematic." In this aspect they share a characteristic with another Norwegian piano group, the Tord Gustavsen Trio. A notable difference is Oddgeir Berg Trio's more effusive embrace of electronics; although, as a whole, In The End of the Night would still fall into the "piano trio" category. The acoustic side is primary. The electronic side serves as enhancement, adding to the cinematic and atmospheric aspect of the sound.

The disc's opener, "Vagabond," sets the stage for an enlivened experience. It is not withdrawn; in fact, it sounds gregarious and modernistic; whether or not it is electronics or some heartily distinctive bowing on the part of bassist Karl-Joakim Wisloff (a fuzz box for the bass is involved) is beside the point. The trio is creating soundscapes in a most extraordinary way.

"American Dream" is a propulsive, straight-ahead piano trio workout. "The Stars Aligned" features some of the most exquisite interplay between Berg, bassist Wisloff and drummer Klaus Robert Blomvik. "The Escape" establishes a lively acoustic groove. "In the End Of The Night," the disc's title tune, picks up on the theme of the group's debut album, Before Dawn, exploring the atmospherics of the silent, time-stands-still moments preceding sunrise, with a cool, deliberate and portentous sound.

Before Dawn said this is a group to keep an ear on. In The End Of The Night says this is a piano trio to get truly excited about, a trio for the new millennium.

Track Listing: Vagabond; American Dream; The Escape; List; Travellers; Way Home; Future Has Come; Lullaby For A.O.; Stars Aligned; In The End Of The Night.

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

Title: In The End Of The Night | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Ozella Music

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