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.

Title: Numb, number | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Gigafon


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs CD/LP/Track Review Ballet: The Music Of Michael Gibbs
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Float The Edge CD/LP/Track Review Float The Edge
by John Sharpe
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Resonance CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Black Focus CD/LP/Track Review Black Focus
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: July 23, 2017
Read Birdhoused CD/LP/Track Review Birdhoused
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Burn The Boat" CD/LP/Track Review Burn The Boat
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 24, 2017
Read "Highsmith" CD/LP/Track Review Highsmith
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Get Up And Go" CD/LP/Track Review Get Up And Go
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Notes Over Poetry" CD/LP/Track Review Notes Over Poetry
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 11, 2017
Read "Groovin'" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin'
by Jeff Winbush
Published: November 2, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!