Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Recorda Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
Read Stinger CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
Read Binary CD/LP/Track Review Binary
Read Piano Song CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
Read "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
Read "Traffic" CD/LP/Track Review Traffic
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
Read "Prospect" CD/LP/Track Review Prospect

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!