6

Clockwork: The Contest

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
Clockwork: The Contest
Trondheim, Norway's jazz conservatory has an excellent reputation for nurturing countless original musicians and outfits. Clockwork, a Norway/Sweden quartet, was formed in that conservatory in 2009 and, after numerous tours, now has The Contest, a debut co-produced, mixed and mastered by Swedish saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar.

The compositions were written by three quartet members: pianist Oscar Grönberg (a member of Norway's Friends & Neighbors and Hanna Paulsberg's Concept, appearing on their respective Øra Fonogram debuts, 2011's No Beat Policy and 2012's Walz for Lilli); guitarist Odd Steinar Albrigtsen (of the as-yet-unrecorded Norwegian trio Hijack, as well as his own quartet); and bassist Peder Waern (of Sweden's Quiet Night Orchestra). Clockwork reveals its roots in American bebop, but with its own modern expression.

After years of playing together the quartet has formed its own solid aesthetic which includes balanced interplay, clever compositions that do not follow obvious narratives, patient, slow-burning structures and a clear affinity for calm, melodic articulations. This temperament is open to numerous variations. On Grönberg's brilliant "Valseri," the pianist's repeated, disciplined chords construct a subtle tension released by Albrigtsen's impressionist linear flights. Grönberg's playful, Thelonious Monk-like theme on the title track pushes the quartet towards a rare, urgent and muscular approach. Waern's "Slingshot" has a similar formula, stressed by a tight, swinging rhythm, while his "Festivus" revolves around a gentle, reserved theme explored on double bass with minor abstractions from Albrigtsen, Grönberg and drummer Truls Rønning. Albrigtsen's compositions—"Café Bentsebru," "Minor Leaps" and "Ballato"—feature his lyrical and highly melodic phrasing. His acoustic solo introduction for "Ballato," and later the fragile interplay that he develops with Waern, charge this beautiful composition with profound emotional impact.

A very promising debut.

Track Listing

Café Bentsebru; Valseri; The contest; Festivus; Minor Leaps; Löt; Slingshot; Ballato.

Personnel

Odd Steinar Albrigtsen: guitar; Oscar Grönberg: piano, rhodes; Peder Waern: double Bass; Truls Rønning: Drums.

Album information

Title: The Contest | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Recorda Records

Post a comment about this album

Watch

Tags

View events near Oslo
Jazz Near Oslo
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop Amazon

More

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.