470

Nils Petter Molvaer: Re-Vision

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Nils Petter Molvaer: Re-Vision The music of Norwegian trumpeter/Nu Jazz progenitor, Nils Petter Molvaer, has always been cinematic. Call it music for a non-existent movie or a film of the mind, Molvaer's albums, beginning with the groundbreaking Khmer (ECM, 1997), have always been about aural landscapes evocative of highly personal imagery and plenty of club-ready grooves. Even in performance, the lighting provided by Tord "Prince of Darkness" Knudsen is intended to provoke the imagination rather than focus attention on the musicians.

It's no surprise, then, that Molvaer has been recruited to provide music for film. His score for the 2005 French film Edy already saw limited release on Molvaer's Sula imprint the same year. Re-Vision culls four pieces from Edy and, by combining them with music from two other films—the 2007 German film Hoppet and 1999 Norwegian documentary Frozen Heart—and one non-soundtrack piece, fashions a continuous 46-minute suite that stands independently as yet another highly visual piece, incorporating Molvaer's ever-expanding frames of reference.

Re-Vision is also Molvaer's first release in years to not primarily feature members of his touring band, but guitarist Eivind Aarset remains a fundamental part of its overall soundscape. Aarset's Sonic Codex (Jazzland, 2007) possesses some of his most overtly recognizable guitar tones in years, but here he's in full-out textural mode; an essential if rarely recognizable sonic contributor to half of Re-Vision's sometimes dense, other times spacious twelve tracks. Punkt Festival artistic co- director/Molvaer touring group member Jan Bang also shows up on the non-score "Perimeters," providing ambient textures and beats which are ethnic rather than dance floor in nature.

Anders Engen and Italian expat Paolo Vinaccia provide live percussion on a handful of tracks, but it's Molvaer—perfecter of the "recording studio as laboratory" concept—who contributes most of Re- Vision's instrumentation. Still, amidst a broad personal palette Molvaer's trumpet remains distinctive, ranging from unaffected and spare on the solo "Trumpet Player in the Backyard" to heavily processed and utilizing a variety of extended techniques on the propulsive "The Beginning" and darker-hued "Alone in the Bathtub."

Molvaer's lyricism continues to be a defining characteristic and, despite the preconception that programming might imply, he clearly remains an improvising musician. There's little in the way of delineated soloing here; instead, his trumpet moves in and out of the mix, a distinctive focal point that helps the music flow seamlessly from one terrain to the next.

Molvaer's sonic bag of tricks isn't restricted solely to his horn and an array of electronic manipulation. On "Visitation," he plays the double-reeded duduk which, in its plaintive, haunting melancholy, recalls Armenian duduk master Djivan Gasparyan's cult classic, I Will Not Be Sad In This World (Opal, 1989).

While many of Molvaer's markers can be found on Re-Vision—techno beats, processed soundscapes, world music references and improvisation—with a purer cinematic purpose it both fits in and stands out amongst Molvaer's growing discography, an album of exceptional beauty, emotional depth and visual resonance.


Track Listing: Torn (from the film Hoppet); The Beginning (from the film Edy); Alone in the Bathtub (from the film Edy); Visitation (from the film Hoppet); Arctic Dub (from the film Frozen Heart); Perimeters; Trumpet Player in the Backyard (from the film Edy); The End (from the film Edy); The Visitor (from the film Hoppet); Azads Theme (from the film Hopper); Decisions (from the film Hoppet); Leaps and Bounds (from the film Hopper).

Personnel: Nils Petter Molvaer: trumpet, all other instruments (1-3, 5, 8, 12), all instruments (10), duduk (4), soundscapes (4, 9, 11); Eivind Aarset: guitars (1-3, 5, 8, 12); Nizamettin Aric: voice (1, 12); Anders Engen: drums (2, 3, 8); Jan Bang: beats and soundscapes (6); Paolo Vinaccia: percussion (12).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Sula Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Rope" CD/LP/Track Review Rope
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 6, 2016
Read "Heads & Tales Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Heads & Tales Volume 2
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Equal Crossing" CD/LP/Track Review Equal Crossing
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Dobbeltgaeenger" CD/LP/Track Review Dobbeltgaeenger
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "The Lightning Bell" CD/LP/Track Review The Lightning Bell
by John Eyles
Published: July 19, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!