What You Thought Was Home is the follow-up to the Kjetil Mulelid Trio's debut release, Not Nearly Enough to Buy a House (Rune Grammofon, 2017), which was widely praised on its release. The line-up remains unchanged, with double bassist Bjørn Marius Hegge and drummer Andreas Skår Winther joining pianist Kjetil André Mulelid, all of them being Norwegian and products of the jazz department at the Trondheim Conservatory of Music. In addition to this trio, all three are separately involved in several other groupings, activities which clearly feed into the trio and keep its music fresh. As before, eight of the nine tracks on What You Thought Was Home are Mulelid compositions; where the ninth track on the debut was a free improvisation, here it is a Hegge composition, "Bruremarsj (Wedding March)." All nine tracks are economical and focused, together totaling thirty-seven minutes, with the shortest track being under three minutes, the longest just topping five-and-a-half. The threesome does not function like a conventional piano trio, with the piano out front supported by a rhythm section. Instead, it is more egalitarian, with bass or drums as likely as the piano to be the focus. The compositions do not have explicit heads that then lead into opportunities for soloing; solo passages tend to be integrated naturally into the overall structure of a piece. The three are relaxed and comfortable in each other's company, and sound as if they could improvise freely together as easily as playing compositions. Maybe next time around? The trio's debut album drew several comments about their ages (Heggeborn 1987is the oldest of the three) but this time around that seems utterly irrelevant. This album feels like a mature work from three well-seasoned pros.
Track Listing: What You Thought Was Home; Folk Song; Bruremarsj (Wedding March); Tales; Far Away; A Cautionary Tale Against a Repetitive Life; Waltz for Ima; When Winter Turns into Spring; Homecoming.
Personnel: Kjetil André Mulelid: piano; Bjørn Marius Hegge: double bass; Andreas Skår Winther: drums.
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