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Sounds of Norway

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Perhaps because of the staggering snowfalls which have occurred in the northeast since winter started, my mind recently turned to Scandinavia. I was listening to some recordings that I brought back from Denmark on a visit last year, and wondering what those Nordic musicians were up to these days when some new music arrived in the mail from Norway. Sadly, the jazz scene in this part of the world is quite intense, and virtually inaccessible to Americans. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Meadow: Blissful Ignorance

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It's been out in Norway since late 2009, on the relatively small Hecca Records label, but any recording with a trio this fine deserves to be out in the world in a bigger way, and so Britain's Edition Records--no longer an upstart company, with over 20 releases in the past 30 months--has picked up Blissful Ignorance, repackaged it, and given it broader international distribution. When he was in Ottawa, Canada, in the fall of 2010, British pianist John Taylor spoke ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tore Brunborg: Lucid Grey

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Amongst the many surprises of the 2008 JazzNorway in a Nutshell trip was a performance--on a boat trip through the Bokna Fjord and Lysefjorden--by saxophonist Tore Brunborg and his trio, featuring bassist Ole Morten Vagan and drummer Erik Nyander. It was a brief but engaging performance, made all the more compelling with the knowledge that the trio was planning to head into the studio to record. Lucid Grey is the result, and it's a strong representation of what was heard ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Tore Brunborg & Jarle Vespestad: Orbit

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It’s a little different fro some duet records, and that’s a good thing. Rather than an endless cutting contest, Jarle Vespestad is clearly in the accompanist’s role, adding taps and shimers to Brunborg’s quiet musing. This is introspection, and you hear their thoughts as they take on standards in a non-standard way.

At the top is “Django”; Brunborg takes it slowly, stressing the sadness as it becomes a funeral march. Vespestad patters soft, brushes here, a shaker there, not following ...


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