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Kjetil Husebø: Steps

Eyal Hareuveni By

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Norwegian pianist Kjetil Husebø attempted in his recent releases to integrate programmed sounds and live sampling into the sound of the acoustic piano. On Steps he focuses on the grand piano, his first solo piano album. The album was recorded in the famed Rainbow Studio in Oslo in a short session in December 2014, with the assistance of the studio master Jan Erik Kongshaug, the experienced engineer who recorded countless classic ECM albums, including the seminal solo piano album, Keith Jarrett's Facing You (1972).

The ten short pieces tell that sometimes beautiful music is created in a magical meeting between a thoughtful musician, great instrument, and fantastic acoustics. This album highlights Husebø gentle, melodic language. He enjoys improvising, exploring melodic ideas and sketches with the rich timbral spectrum of the studio Steinway model D grand piano. His playing is contemplative and reserved, often quiet and meditative, at time even simple and innocent as in folk songs, always with a strong emotional core.

The dramatic, melancholic title piece and the contemplative, abstract "Strange Steps" blur any attempt to attach any genre conventions to Husebø's playing. He blurs the distinction between chamber jazz, contemporary music or Nordic folk music. "Carousel" and "Hypnagogia" have touching, elegant themes that brings to mind the solo piano compositions of fellow Norwegian, pianist Ketil Bjornstad, often recorded in the same studio with the same engineer.

Beautiful.

Track Listing: Far But Near; Typisk; Steps; Ease; Carousel; Inversion; Strange Steps; Veien blir til mens du går deg vill; Reverence For Otherness; Hypnagogia.

Personnel: Kjetil Husebø: piano (Steinway model D).

Title: Steps | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Optical Substance Productions

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