The Norwegian groupLana Trio attempts to find a delicate balance between intense, free jazz to exploration of more open-ended and non-idiomatic free improvisations. The three musicians began to play together after meeting at Sund Folk college in 2007. Trombonist Henrik Munkeby Nørstebø is the most experienced player of the three. He collaborates regularly with Swedish master improvisers as double bassist Nina de Heney and drummer Raymond Strid, member of the Skadedyr group and the trio As Deafness Increases. He has released his debut Solo album (Creative Sources, 2011) on which drummer Andreas Wildhagen who also plays in the modern jazz quintet Mopti and the quartet Ronja. Also on the album, pianist Kjetil Jerve who plays in the quartet of vocalist Emilie Christensen and her father, renowned drummer Jon Christensen.
The music of the trio on its debut album moves in several, contrasting directions. Between abstract sound-oriented experiments, exploration of loose pulses along with dense and energetic interplay. Its level of energy is much higher than most other experimental Norwegian outfits who opt to follow the Sofa Music school of minimal and static improvisations, including Nørstebø's own As Deafness Increases. The experimental side does not affect the fast and intuitive interplay that this trio has solidified through years of playing together.
Within this emphatic and inclusive interplay all three can focus on individual sonic researches, as on "07.10" or the free-form "04.16" and still sound as a tight unit. On "06.39" the trio even sketches a dramatic soundscape, employing varied extended techniquesbreathes, hammering the piano strings and using objects on the drums skinsto invent evocative sounds. "03.04's" sound is a concise tribute to influential musicians of the European school of free jazz such as trombonist Johannes Bauer, pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach and drummer Paul Lovens.
Lana Trio succeeds to harness its challenging, experimental flights, and the determined exploration of inventive new sounds and fresh forms of interplay into a cohesive, tough, loose, structure that surprisingly sounds engaging and accessible.