Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

1,019

Norwegian Road Trip, Part 5: Molde Jazz, Days 1-2

Norwegian Road Trip, Part 5: Molde Jazz, Days 1-2
John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6 | Part 7
[Editors Note: From July 6 to July 26, 2010, All About Jazz Managing Editor John Kelman will travel throughout Norway to cover both the Kongsberg Jazz Festival (also participating in Silver City Sounds) and Molde Jazz. He'll also spend a week between the two famous festivals in Oslo, where he'll check out the scene, talk to musicians and labels, and visit the legendary Rainbow Studio for a look around and an interview with engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, who has participated in hundreds of ECM recordings. He'll publish every second or third day, so be sure to follow him as he goes from the east coast to the west, in search of Norwegian artists known and unknown].
While it would be faster to fly from Oslo to Molde, it wouldn't be a proper road trip without taking the train, a stunning seven-hour trip that includes journeying from Dombås—the highest rail point in the country—to Åndlasnes, about an hour outside of Molde. The 90-minute rail trip from Dombås to Åndlasnes features some of the country's most stunning scenery; but also proof of Norway's intrepid nature when it comes to ensuring there's a proper infrastructure capable of delivering all the necessary services throughout the country.


And that's a real challenge, because Norway's small population (now approaching five million) is not concentrated in a handful of larger cities; instead, the train ride from Oslo to Molde demonstrated just how spread out Norway's inhabitants are. Hardly a mile went by where there wasn't evidence of some small community, nestled at the foot of a large mountain or situated along a river or lake. Norway's road system makes its way around mountains, but also through them, with seemingly countless tunnels cutting through some of the largest peaks; but how the train wound its way from Dombås to Åndlasnes was particularly remarkable. In a 1,340 meter tunnel, the train made nearly a 360 degree turn as it descended from Dombås to the bottom of Romsdal Valley, actually coming out traveling in the opposite direction and nearly 19 meters above where it entered the tunnel.



It was a day of sun and clouds, which made for some spectacular scenery. Leaving Oslo, the landscape became increasingly vivid, first with rolling hills and green landscapes, but gradually becoming increasingly rough and craggy, with mountains gradually emerging in the distance and blue-green glacial waters reflecting the sun and clouds. Some of the country's best fishing could be found in the country between Oslo and Molde, as the train crossed the country from east to west; Lake Lesjaskog, an 11 kilometer lake with rivers running from both ends, the watershed between east and west Norway and a rich source of trout and graylings. Farther along, the River Rauma wound its way to a fjord, one of the country's best places for salmon fishing, as they migrate there from the ocean near Greenland, to spawn just below Kylling Bridge.



Kylling Bridge was impressive in and of itself. 76 meters long and 59 meters high at its apex, it was built between 1913 and 1923, and demonstrates Norwegian ingenuity long before oil gave the country the money to implement its more thorough infrastructure. But before coming to the bridge, the 380 meter Vermafossen waterfall was another highlight amongst highlights; a stunning natural wonder that is also used to generate electricity for the region.



Arriving in Åndlasnes, it was impossible to imagine how anyone could ever become complacent about being surrounded by such stark and stunning beauty. With mountain peaks rising everywhere, Åndlasnes was a small crossroads location where buses to other places met the train's arrival. Still, it was far more than a small town, with lovely architecture and, despite being distanced from larger centers, hardly wanting for any of the social services that are such an inherent part of the Norwegian fabric of daily life.



An hour-long bus to Molde continued the intimate look at some of the country's most stunning mountain scenery. A 10-minute ferry ride across a fjord provided a combination closer look and panoramic view, before finishing up the trip to Molde winding through more rolling landscape along the large fjord on which Molde is situated, 25 kilometers from the Atlantic Ocean. Arriving in Molde, a town of 25,000 surrounded by 222 mountains, it's impossible to imagine a more gorgeous location for a jazz festival. Farther north than Oslo, the days are also a little longer at this time of year, with night approaching at 10:30PM, but still in a strange kind of elongated twilight where shades of blue remained in the sky, peaking through the cloud cover.



It was a perfect way to be welcomed back to Molde, as the town prepared for the jazz festival's 50th anniversary, a stellar year that, in addition to featuring Artist in Residence Nils Petter Molvaer and Label in Residence Rune Grammofon, will host fifty artists/groups including In The Country, Puma, Bushman's Revenge and Terje Rypdal. There will also be a special, one-time performances by Motorpsycho with the Sula Art Ensemble, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Trondheimsolistene, a new project from Ketil Bjornstad (being recorded by ECM), and an all-star collaboration by Gary Burton, Tommy Smith, Arild Andersen and Alex Riel. All-in-all, a great year to be in Molde.

Chapter Index
  1. July 19: Laying the Foundation and Art Exhibits
  2. July 19: Nils Petter Molvær Opening Performance
  3. July 19: In the Country
  4. July 19: Farmers Market
  5. July 20: Javid Afsari Rad
  6. July 20: Magic Pocket & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra
  7. July 20: Burton/Andersen/Smith/Riel

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Fulcarragh Winter Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Fulcarragh Winter Jazz Festival 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 19, 2018
Read Ideas Of Noise 2018 Live Reviews
Ideas Of Noise 2018
by Martin Longley
Published: December 18, 2018
Read Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 2 Live Reviews
Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 2
by James Fleming
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 3 Live Reviews
Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 3
by James Fleming
Published: December 17, 2018
Read 2018 Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 4 Live Reviews
2018 Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 4
by James Fleming
Published: December 17, 2018
Read Brian Wilson Presents The Christmas Album Live Live Reviews
Brian Wilson Presents The Christmas Album Live
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: December 16, 2018
Read "Funchal Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Funchal Jazz Festival 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 26, 2018
Read "David Byrne at Red Rocks" Live Reviews David Byrne at Red Rocks
by Geoff Anderson
Published: September 8, 2018
Read "North Sea Jazz 2018" Live Reviews North Sea Jazz 2018
by Phillip Woolever
Published: September 3, 2018
Read "Istanbul Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Istanbul Jazz Festival 2018
by Luke Seabright
Published: July 12, 2018
Read "Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café" Live Reviews Kurt Rosenwinkel at Chris’ Jazz Café
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 2, 2018
Read "Athens Aqua Jazz Festival 2018" Live Reviews Athens Aqua Jazz Festival 2018
by Francesco Martinelli
Published: July 14, 2018