44

Bol / Westerhus / Snah: Numb, number

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Bol / Westerhus / Snah: Numb, number Norwegian trio Bol has always been a melting pot of untimely sound worlds, poetic texts and fearless, improvising character. Vocalist Tone Åse experiments with live electronics and subtle interpretations of poems, as she did on her recent collaboration with drummer Thomas Stronen, Voxpheria (Gigafon, 2012). Keyboardist Ståle Storløkken evokes progressive rock symphonies with his usage of vintage synthesizers, while drummer Tor Haugerud explores original grooves.

On this recording, four years after Skylab (NORCD, 2008), Bol is joined by two extremely creative and unorthodox guitarists— Hans Magnus Ryan (known as Snah), from seminal Norwegian band Motorpsycho, and Stian Westerhus, known for his impressive solo outing Pitch Black Star Spangled (Rune Grammofon, 2010) and as a member of Nils Petter Molvaer's trio. This quintet performed first at Trondheim Jazz Festival in 2010, and the praised performance has culminated in this recording.

The seven compositions vary in nature. All stress the lyrics and are structured as mini-suites. "Numb, number" evolves slowly and gently around the vocalist's expressive recitation of her poem. Åse's vocals and Storløkken's spare electronic sounds embraces the poetic images of e.e. cummings' "Spring is like a perhaps hand" with a perfect, corresponding cinematic sonic envelope.

"You bird—," after a poem by modern Norwegian poet Rolf Jacobsen, has a grandiose, powerful arrangement, similar to the recent collaboration by Motorpsycho and Storløkken on The Death Defying Unicorn (Rune Grammofon, 2012), with the distinctive sounds of the two guitarists placed upfront. "Waiting Time," based on another Jacobsen poem, develops patiently. Åse plays with the poem, while Westerhus' sustained guitar lines and Storløkken's psychedelic synthesizer sounds engulf her fragile, nuanced reading.

"The Western Wind," also after Jacobsen poem, is a compact prog-rock symphony, governed by Åse's warm, soaring vocals and improvisations. She is aided by the twin-guitar power chords and Storløkken and Haugerud's electric storm. "Asphalt," using another Jacobsen poem, has a spare, threatening soundscape that stresses Åse's delivery of the poetic content concerning the danger of authoritative regimes.

"Singing Again," from a poem by Norwegian port Olav. H. Hauge, is a hopeful, love message to the beautiful nature around us. The poem is performed with an emotional, melodic and delicate arrangement—a fitting conclusion to this magnificent journey in sound and poetry.


Track Listing: Numb, number; Spring is like a perhaps hand; You bird -; Waiting time; The Western Wind; Asphalt; Singing again.

Personnel: Tone Åse: voice, live electronics; Ståle Storløkken: keyboards; Tor Haugerud: drums and guests Stian Westerhus: guitar, vocals; Hans Magnus "Snah" Ryan: guitar, vocals.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Gigafon


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Kansas City Here I Come" CD/LP/Track Review Kansas City Here I Come
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 10, 2017
Read "Brooklyn Blowhards" CD/LP/Track Review Brooklyn Blowhards
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "The Long Road" CD/LP/Track Review The Long Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by John Sharpe
Published: July 24, 2016
Read "Horizon Ahead" CD/LP/Track Review Horizon Ahead
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 17, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!