All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Svein Finnerud Trio: Plastic Sun

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
From the early years of Norwegian jazz, few albums have stood the test of time as well as the venturesome and subtly psychedelic Plastic Sun. It was the Svein Finnerud Trio's second disc, and was released on Sonet in 1970. Inexplicably for an album of such beauty, it has been a hard-to-find collector's item for decades, having only been reissued once before, in 1998, as a CD on the Norwegian Jazz Federation's Odin label. In April 2018, Odin have reissued it again, this time on CD and in a 180-gram vinyl audiophile-edition. A historic work has been restored to wider circulation.

The Svein Finnerud Trio—pianist Finnerud, bassist Bjørnar Andresen and drummer Espen Rud—was a prominent presence on the Norwegian avant-garde in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The group pioneered ideas that later found an international audience through ECM albums by the likes of Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen and Terje Rypdal. The trio itself never recorded for ECM, probably because by the time Manfred Eicher's label hit its stride in the mid 1970s, Finnerud had become more involved with painting than he was with music. By the time the trio's third album, Thoughts (Prisma), was recorded in 1974, Andresen had succeeded Finnerud as chief in-house composer. The group went on hiatus shortly after the album was completed and did not record again until the 1990s. Finnerud passed away in 2000.

Plastic Sun spans a broad stylistic range, from funk and gospel-infused interludes through proto-ambient meditations and turbocharged collective-improvisations. It is an acoustic album, but the soundscape is rich in timbral invention, and engineer Egil Eide—working with limited technical resources in a studio at the Henie-Onstad Art Center outside Oslo—must have been key to turning the group's ideas into reality.

In interviews, Finnerud acknowledged the formative influence of Paul Bley and his trios. The epiphany, apparently, was a concert Bley, bassist Kent Carter and drummer Barry Altschul played in Oslo in 1965. Two of the tunes on Plastic Sun, "Cartoon" and "Touching," were written by Annette Peacock, Bley's then wife. Another early inspiration was Ornette Coleman, whose "Dee Dee" is also included. The remaining five tunes were written by Finnerud or Andresen.

This third time out of the traps, efforts are being made to give Plastic Sun some international traction. Better late than never.

Track Listing: Bernhard; Alnafet Street; Cartoon; Plastic Sun; Touching; Dee Dee; Parelius N; Strings.

Personnel: Svein Finnerud: piano; Bjornar Andresen: bass, vocal; Espen Rud: drums.

Title: Plastic Sun | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Odin Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Perception CD/LP/Track Review
Perception
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 15, 2018
Read DeiCont | Philips Collective CD/LP/Track Review
DeiCont | Philips Collective
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Cooking Groove CD/LP/Track Review
Cooking Groove
by Jim Olin
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Heaven & Earth CD/LP/Track Review
Heaven & Earth
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 15, 2018
Read Heart Of Brazil CD/LP/Track Review
Heart Of Brazil
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 14, 2018
Read "Infância" CD/LP/Track Review Infância
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "The Mugician" CD/LP/Track Review The Mugician
by Thomas Earl
Published: February 1, 2018
Read "Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review Horizons
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Earthshine" CD/LP/Track Review Earthshine
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording" CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "Cycles of Animation" CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017