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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Helge Lien Trio: Badgers and Other Beings

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Since he signed to Dagobert Böhm's Ozella Music, Norwegian pianist Helge Lien has reached a new artistic plateau with his trio. Hello Troll (Ozella, 2008) was an immediate success that showcased the group's lyricism and tight interplay and the spacious beauty of Natsukashii (Ozella, 2010) added new colors to a wide musical vocabulary rooted in the Nordic aesthetic. Badgers and Other Beings continues the trio's journey in sound and like the previous releases, it has been superbly ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Ruth Wilhelmine Meyer and Helge Lien: Memnon

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Helge Lien is a contemporary Norwegian pianist principally known for work on his own and with his trio, for which he has been awarded Norway's 2008 DnBNor Musicians Award. Despite extensive exposure to the more mainstream music created with his trio, however, Lien has long been associated with more experimental projects, like the HERO duo, from 2005-6, with saxophonist Rolf-Erik Nystrøm; with Tri O'Trang, where Lien plays alongside saxophone, trumpet and/or tuba; and his more recent solo piano outing, Kattenslager ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Helge Lien Trio: Natsukashii

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So, what do you do when you've won, amongst other accolades, the 2008 DnBNor Musicians Award and a Norwegian Grammy Award for Best Jazz Album of 2009? Well, if you're Helge Lien and the album is Hello Troll (Ozella, 2008), you just keep on keepin' on--in this fine pianist's case, continuing to hone the trio that's been his primary focus since What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life (Curling Legs, 2001). With the unfortunate dissolution of e.s.t., following ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Helge Lien Trio: Hello Troll

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It's nearly impossible to keep up with the Norwegian jazz scene. Considering the country's population is about one-quarter the size of New York City's Greater Metropolitan Area, the vibrancy, diversity and sheer amount of music coming out of this small country is astounding. Pianist Helge Lien and his trio may be unknown to most North Americans, but they've already got five albums to their name and have racked up achievements, including a 2002 Norwegian Grammy nomination. Hello Troll ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Helge Lien Trio: Asymmetrics

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The ominous cover art and brooding band photo on the cover of the Norwegian Helge Lien trio’s second DIW release, Asymmetrics, promises a stormy affair, but true to the title, the nine tracks surprise and deliver instead a restrained, at times even gentle mood without, however, sacrificing intensity.

Pianist Lien, bassist Frode Berg and drummer Knut Aalefjaer craft a set of five Lien originals and four standards that surges from dark riffing (Lien’s “Mann Av Huse ...