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Album Review

Oddgeir Berg Trio: While We Wait For A Brand New Day

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Oddgeir Berg Trio: While We Wait For A Brand New Day
Writing about Norway's Oddgier Berg trio and discussing the group's terrific debut album Before Dawn (Ozella Music, 2018), one reviewer said that Berg and his mates were "A group to keep an eye and both ears on."

That writer was spot on. The trio followed up that auspicious first effort with In the End Of The Night (Ozella Music, 2019), maintaining the same atmospheric, often gloomy introspection, bringing the long, cold Scandinavian winter darkness to mind with deliberative compositions featuring subtle dynamic shifts and grayish crepuscular beauty. Comparisons to Norway's other great piano group, the Tord Gustavsen Trio rightly came up.

After those two excellent discs and 2021's particularly fine holiday album, Christmas Came Early (Ozella Music), the trio now presents another secular trio outing (though a couple of the tune titles suggest things beyond the secular), While We Wait For A Brand New Day. The long night is over; the sun paints the clouds on the eastern horizon with bright hues, chasing the gray away, with a set that is celebratory from the opening tune, "The Dream Of Adam."

Melancholy no more, the trio goes for grooves and optimistic melodies. The happy-go-lucky "Psalmish" might incite some carefree dance steps; "Sunday Mood" seems to celebrate life, and "Scenes From A Movie" follows the path of a bright-eyed storyline. Throughout, with great care and subtlety, synths for shadings and pastel backdrops that enhance the music are expertly applied. "Bring On the Night," in terms of its title, could seem to indicate a return to the Nordic melancholy, but instead it deploys a frenetic and modernistic hopefulness, setting up a lively, high- energy vibe, with a synth-supplied wind blowing in off the cold Norwegian Sea in the background, while the album's closer, "Post Mortem" brings back a contemplative, ECM Records-like atmosphere which could fit in well with the group's first two albums.

Track Listing

The Dream Of Adam; Dancing Through The Storm; Lucky To Be Happy; Happy Morning; Psalmish; Sunday Mood; Scenes From A Movie; Bring On The Night; Post Mortem.

Personnel

Oddgeir Berg: piano; Karl-Joakim Wisløff: bass, acoustic; Lars Bernsten: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

Oddgeir Berg: keys.

Album information

Title: While We Wait For A Brand New Day | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Ozella Music

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