Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

49

Håvard Wiik: This Is Not a Waltz

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Track review of "Mnemonic Functions"

Leading-edge Norwegian pianist Håvard Wiik is a widely acclaimed artist via his work in the eminent Scandinavian free bop band, Atomic and collaborations with saxophonists Joe Lovano, Ken Vandermark and many other jazz VIPs. Yet he's equally at home settling into modern jazz frameworks or when venturing into the outside peripheries of jazz. But this release, recorded with his piano trio, delivers a smaller scale and comprehensive synthesis of his advanced technical skills, approach and style.

Wiik injects Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman mini-motifs into some of his works. But the prevailing factors are centered upon his strong original compositions. Indeed, it's vividly noticeable that the musicians are in-synch and score high marks for their collective chemistry. They are agile, hard-hitting and whirl through complex unison choruses with precision and eloquence. The band is also apt to drastically contrast a given theme as they zoom in for the kill or throw the listener for a loop with unexpected detours.

"Mnemonic Functions" is the final track and is partly built on a reverse-engineered, cyclical theme amid Wiik's flailing abstract classical type maneuvers. However, drummer Håkon Mjåset Johansen is on fire, as he incorporates small bells, cymbals, a cowbell and other implements to complement an explosive polyrhythmic attack. Meanwhile, bassist Ole Morten Vågan lays down a timestamp with bulging notes, and ups the ante when the trio gels to a frenzied free bop groove.

It's a wickedly intense piece intensified by Wiik's fluctuating chord voicings, yet toned-down towards the finale, where his warmly crafted harmonics atop the rhythm section's temperate support segues into a whispering fadeout. Essentially, Wiik and associates execute a multidimensional performance, incited by the spell-binding finale "Mnemonic Functions" and other works that pose a host of beguiling developments.

Track Listing: Calligrams; Neidbau; Tudor Style; Bought & Muzzled; Ceci N'est Pas Une Valse; Tear Conveyor; Pneumatiques; Mnemonic Functions.

Personnel: Håvard Wiik; piano; Ole Morten Vågan: bass; Håkon Mjåset Johansen: drums.

Title: This Is Not a Waltz | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Moserobie

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019
Read Rhyme And Reason Album Reviews
Rhyme And Reason
By Mark Corroto
February 21, 2019
Read The Definition of Insanity Album Reviews
The Definition of Insanity
By Nicholas F. Mondello
February 21, 2019
Read Omhu Album Reviews
Omhu
By Jakob Baekgaard
February 21, 2019
Read In Between the Tumbling a Stillness Album Reviews
In Between the Tumbling a Stillness
By Karl Ackermann
February 20, 2019
Read Gary Album Reviews
Gary
By Dan McClenaghan
February 20, 2019