It was just a matter of time until Norwegian bassist Per Mathisen brought this series to its logical conclusion. Where the first Sounds of 3 (Losen, 2016) pounded the floor with hard-rocking grooves, and its followup Sounds of 3 Edition 2 (Losen, 2019) went a bit subtler and jazzier, Edition 3 drops the fusion blueprint entirely. With another new and versatile pair of fellow travelers on board, Mathisen takes a left turn into impressionistic territory and paints some aural pictures mainly by instinct instead.
"The Viking way" is the theme behind this program, and so each piece reflects some natural picture or concept to suit. When Nguyen Le's guitar swoops in to join Mathisen's floating bass on the opening "Birds' Unrest," they tumble back and forth like creatures unsure where to fly. When they hit the mid-set lull of "Silenced Sails," Audun Kleive's drums portray the unsteady rhythm of a ship bobbing in place without moving. Their flying and sailing are charmingly unpredictable, not grooving in an obvious way but still following their own kind of organic logic.
This is not loud and catchy jazz-rock fusion, but neither is it obtuse or difficult. The flow of this particular Sounds of 3 remains just as easy to follow when they drift into open wateror even lose touch entirely, as in the soft undulating closerwhere they manage to gel despite blindly improvising one after another. The whole affair simply trusts nature to take the lead, and nature does not disappoint.
Birds' Unrest; Weather Ahead; Calming Sea; On the Horizon; Silenced Sails; Infiltration; Navigating
Stars; Free at Last.
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