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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Per Mathisen/Jan Gunnar Hoff/Horacio Hernandez: Barxeta II

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Per Mathisen and Jan Gunnar Hoff understandably look forward to their jaunts to Barxeta, Spain, as much as anyone else might look forward to favorite summer holidays. For them it's really a working vacation: of course the sunny surroundings are beautiful and the home cooking is doubtlessly excellent, but they're also there to play hard and create something exciting as best they can. It works: the second in their ongoing series shows them romping through an energetic fusion set in ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Haakon Graf/Erik Smith/Per Mathisen: Sunrain

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Digging into the staggered groove of “Santa Monica" during an end-of-2014 performance in jny: Oslo's Olsen Bar, Haakon Graf glides along the keys in an easygoing manner to begin building the show's energy. The electric trappings of '70s Jeff Beck come to mind--albeit without the guitar--alongside the sound of classic outfits like Weather Report and Herbie Hancock's Headhunters. His bandmates keep up at a mid-tempo trot. Erik Smith's drumming coasts steadily with plenty of splashes to avoid going anywhere near ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Haakon Graf/Erik Smith/ Per Mathisen: Sunrain

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"Sunrain" is a common Scandinavian weather phenomenon: after weeks of rain, there are often clouds with showers pouring down as the sun peers through the other side. Keyboardist/composer Haakon Graf considers it “a metaphor for the fabric of life, a place between a smile and a tear, like my music..." His trio with drummer Erik Smith and bassist Per Mathisen began performing live in 2011. The liners name them Norway's leading jazz-funk trio, and based on the music here that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Per Mathisen: Sounds of 3

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“We never solo, we always solo." Like so many great ideas, Joe Zawinul's iconic line about his group Weather Report is both brilliantly simple and allows for endless possibilities. No single player gets featured in the spotlight while the others provide a steady pattern behind them; rather everyone constantly improvises around the framework of a given piece and all contributions are equally important to the whole. Known as “The Norwegian bass Viking" (for good reason as this album shows), Per ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Per Mathisen/Frode Alnæs/Giraldo Piloto: Sounds Of 3

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Norwegian bassist Per Mathisen (aka “The Bass Viking") leads an exciting, empathetic, virtuosic fusion jazz trio on Sounds Of 3. This is a modern electric trio in the same vein as bassist Jonas Hellborg's trio with guitarist Shawn Lane and drummer Jeff Sipe, guitarist Alex Machacek's trio with 5-string electric bassist Matthew Garrison (and Sipe again), or the current Jeff Sipe Trio with Mike Seal & Taylor Lee. Mathisen composed all of the music, with the exception of an arrangement ...