Page 2 of 13 FirstFirst 12345678910111213 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 318

Thread: Music From Norway: Just how important is it, really?

  1. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by rapidfirerob View Post
    Jaga Jazzist are incredible!
    THAT they are - and JJ lay squarely in the very middle hotbed of what John is writing about here. One of the defining names of Norwegian "progressive" through the tenure of the term.

    Oh, and John mentioned Svein Finnerud - whose near-mythical band Svein Finnerud Trio released what I personally consider to be the most important Norwegian jnon-classical recording of all time, Plastic Sun (1970). This piano/bass/drums unit was arguably the very first truly avant-garde (and postmodern) act to make an impact in Norway, and some of their musical approaches and aesthetic "philosophy" was unexplored even internationally at the time. I've got all of their works on vinyl (including the ultra-rare collab with oddball painter-become-poet Trond Botnen) and I treasure them more than any other Norwegian titles in my collection.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  2. #27
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Posts
    2,376
    I have most of Rypdal, several each from Molvaer and Aarset and a bunch of the "Big Five", but I could stand to investigate more of this scene.

    One thing I don't get is the appeal of Sidsel Endresen, though.

  3. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    The way I read John's input here, it's not really about the "prog bands" but the rather widespread notion of a specifically creative scene in Norway at large for these past 10-15 years - about which I can only concur.
    Absolutely true. I was, in fact, encouraged to focus more on the jazz scene but, of course, there's so much cross-over that it's really more about music in general in Norway, and less any specific genre. If folks want to list their fave Norwegian bands - of whatever ilk - here, that's great, keep 'em comin', as it just goes further to support my arguments

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Anyway, it's been a great decade to be a "serious" music enthusiast here.
    It is, indeed!

  4. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    I have most of Rypdal, several each from Molvaer and Aarset and a bunch of the "Big Five", but I could stand to investigate more of this scene.

    One thing I don't get is the appeal of Sidsel Endresen, though.
    Start with her earlier, more "singing" records like Exile and So I Write (both on ECM), then Undertwo (Jazzland). From there, head into her more oblique stuff.

  5. #30
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,166
    Quote Originally Posted by walt View Post
    Reading this thread reminds me that it has been a while since I played some of Norwegian jazz pianist Svein Finnerud's (1945-2000) music from the 3cd/1dvd box Svein Finnerud Trio-The Complete Released Works 1968-1999.Not sure if Finnerud was mentioned in John's article,i did a quick reading of it but I may well have missed a mention of him, who made an impact in Norwegian jazz circles in the late 60's-70s.

    A gifted and too little known player,Svein Finnerud.
    I played two cds from this box,first time in probably a year or more,and my first impressions about the quality thereof were confirmed. Also confirmed for me was my opinion that double bass player Bjornar Andresen was (is) a monster musician.At times my ears focus on Andresen's bass lines as much or more than Finnerud's piano.A very strong player, on a par with the best bass masters i've heard,and i've heard more than a few.

    I still wish i read Norwegian,or that there was an English translation of the cd booklet notes available.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  6. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by walt View Post
    Also confirmed for me was my opinion that double bass player Bjornar Andresen was (is) a monster musician.At times my ears focus on Andresen's bass lines as much or more than Finnerud's piano.A very strong player, on a par with the best bass masters i've heard,and i've heard more than a few.
    QFT! Andresen was unbelievable. And FWIW, he was essential to Martin Revheim's efforts at starting Blå (meaning 'Blue'), which was THE most important "underground" concert venue in Oslo during 1997-2006 and whose staff pretty much championed several of the borderline artists in question here.

    Both Finnerud and Andresen are gone, I'm afraid. Booze and pills took enormous tolls also among Norwegian musicians of the "radical jazz" era, and they were both pretty worn out in the end. Ace drummer Espen Rud endures, though - and is as active as ever. He also featured with lots of 70s (progressive) rock acts here, like Moose Loose, Oriental Sunshine etc.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  7. #32
    Boo! walt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Oakland Gardens NY
    Posts
    4,166
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    QFT! Andresen was unbelievable. And FWIW, he was essential to Martin Revheim's efforts at starting Blå (meaning 'Blue'), which was THE most important "underground" concert venue in Oslo during 1997-2006 and whose staff pretty much championed several of the borderline artists in question here.

    Both Finnerud and Andresen are gone, I'm afraid. .
    I knew that Finnerud had passed on, but didn't know that Andresen also, was gone.Sorry to hear this.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  8. #33
    Howdy Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    42°09′30″N 71°08′43″W
    Posts
    2,376
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Start with her earlier, more "singing" records like Exile and So I Write (both on ECM), then Undertwo (Jazzland). From there, head into her more oblique stuff.
    I have Exile and it's fairly enjoyable, but to me mostly because of the all star band.

  9. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by Dave (in MA) View Post
    I have Exile and it's fairly enjoyable, but to me mostly because of the all star band.
    Of course, at that time, other than Christensen, none of them were really stars yet Nils Petter, not til '97 with Khmer. Django was becoming a name in Britain with Loose Tubes and abroad with Bruford's Earthworks, but his own work as a leader was just beginning. David Darling was known, but not really a star....

    But it was, indeed, a tremendous band, no doubt. But I think her writing and voice were wonderful. If you don't like this so much, check out Undertow, which is more electronic....see what you think. If not then, then she's clearly not for you
    Best!
    John

  10. #35
    chalkpie
    Guest
    Can't wait to read this. Thanks man for not being lazy like of us

    Right now I am riding the Sibelius binge of my life. Yeah, he's a Finn, but he's sort of close by. This is my second Sib binge, but this one is the real deal - hitting a TON. You familiar?

    Supersilent would get my vote off the top of my head for favorite Norwegian "prog" - if you can even call it that. They create a dark beauty that can't be composed by a pen IMO, and the Nordic character is in there to this ignorant New Yorker. It's like the garlic in the Sunday gravy..........Oooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhh hhhhhhhhh.

  11. #36
    Member emperorken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Mesquite Nv
    Posts
    103
    Two bands I've discovered recently are Kerrs Pink and Fatal Fusion. Both have excellent new albums out.

  12. #37
    Member Zalmoxe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Toronto, Canada
    Posts
    262
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    Sweden does have arts support but not to the same financial degree as Norway, for the simple reason that Norway came into that oil money. I mean seriously: 10 billion kroners a year devoted to arts support? It would be unbelievable if it weren't true....
    It would be interesting to put that into perspective with other countries, keeping the same percentage as the GDPs. USA would probably be left with no money for wars!!!

  13. #38
    Member Since: 3/27/2002 MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    The Kingdom of YHVH
    Posts
    1,936
    I like these

    Moose Loose
    Terje Rypdal
    Blow Out
    Vanessa
    Håkon Graf
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  14. #39
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2,870
    I have an LP from 1981 "Spring Quintet" (PMC 330) Swedish/Norwegian band in the Garbarek/Bobo Stenson/Jarret 'tradition'. Anybody here knows it? Its quite good!
    Stefan Grahn: sax - Bjarne Roupe: guitar - Mats Lundvall: Piano - Carl Størmer: drums

  15. #40
    Member sergio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Green-Clean
    Posts
    136
    ... and Leprous to rule them all

  16. #41
    And TNT, since they were Norwegian. Very creative and exciting, voice especially.


    Elisabeth Granneman is one of the true harbingers of this creative new progressive. She's Norwegian, so she must be.


    Ole Ivars here; great Norwegian avant-progressive to rule out even the rules themselves:
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    I have an LP from 1981 "Spring Quintet" (PMC 330) Swedish/Norwegian band in the Garbarek/Bobo Stenson/Jarret 'tradition'. Anybody here knows it? Its quite good!
    Stefan Grahn: sax - Bjarne Roupe: guitar - Mats Lundvall: Piano - Carl Størmer: drums
    No! Is it still available, if you know?

  18. #43
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2,870
    Scrotum - Jeg tror du tøyser


  19. #44
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2,870
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    No! Is it still available, if you know?
    Mine is from 81, and it's never been CD'ed. Its a great album but I dont know anybody besides me who has ever heard it - it's for sale here for approx 10$ http://www.bokborsen.se/Spring-Quint...intett/3598908 (swedish shop)
    Cool scandinavian jazz, could have been an ECM band. Since the album is the only one they made, I guess something with marketing etc. went wrong.

  20. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    Cool scandinavian jazz, could have been an ECM band. Since the album is the only one they made, I guess something with marketing etc. went wrong.
    No, not necessarily marketing. Someone/ones in the band might not have gotten along, or ultimately decided their priorities were different, for example.

    There can be many reasons why bands record one record and then never again.

  21. #46
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2,870
    Quote Originally Posted by jkelman View Post
    There can be many reasons why bands record one record and then never again.
    You are of course right.
    One of the reasons for my assumption was that the guitarist Bjarne Roupé gave it to me on a casette made in the recording studio, as something he had been involved in, but never made it as an album. Then maybe 10 years later I found the LP secondhand - I didnt know it existed.

  22. #47
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR, USA
    Posts
    1,174
    Very interesting thoughts.

    A couple of you have mentioned Jaga Jazzist. This may be wrong, but I get the impression they're almost more a garage band than anything else - but a garage band Norwegian style. That is, they started out as a bunch of high-school kids making their own music, they stuck with it, and they went on from there. And like a garage band, they have few or no individual players of the first rank, but they're a great ensemble with a sound of their own. The difference between them and, say, the White Stripes, being that Lars Horntveth got organized training, got it early, learned nearly a dozen instruments, didn't have a lot of trouble finding a whole band of similar musicians, and went on to be an actual composer - whereas Jack White had to figure it all out by himself, by ear, stumbled upon the one gimmick of re-interpreting old blues through a punk-rock filter, and his whole career has hinged on that.

    Also, you made a slight mention of Finland. Now that's a country with a similar, but slightly different approach - at about the same time Norway started supporting the arts in general, the Finns decided to become a powerhouse in classical music. It cost surprisingly little money, from what I understand. Just a matter of putting a bit into music education, encouraging the successes, and giving them opportunities for further training. But nowadays, half the time you hear of some upcoming classical composer, conductor, or soloist, they seem to have one of those unpronounceable Finnish handles.

  23. #48

  24. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    Very interesting thoughts.

    A couple of you have mentioned Jaga Jazzist. This may be wrong, but I get the impression they're almost more a garage band than anything else - but a garage band Norwegian style. That is, they started out as a bunch of high-school kids making their own music, they stuck with it, and they went on from there. And like a garage band, they have few or no individual players of the first rank, but they're a great ensemble with a sound of their own. The difference between them and, say, the White Stripes, being that Lars Horntveth got organized training, got it early, learned nearly a dozen instruments, didn't have a lot of trouble finding a whole band of similar musicians, and went on to be an actual composer - whereas Jack White had to figure it all out by himself, by ear, stumbled upon the one gimmick of re-interpreting old blues through a punk-rock filter, and his whole career has hinged on that.

    Also, you made a slight mention of Finland. Now that's a country with a similar, but slightly different approach - at about the same time Norway started supporting the arts in general, the Finns decided to become a powerhouse in classical music. It cost surprisingly little money, from what I understand. Just a matter of putting a bit into music education, encouraging the successes, and giving them opportunities for further training. But nowadays, half the time you hear of some upcoming classical composer, conductor, or soloist, they seem to have one of those unpronounceable Finnish handles.
    Sorry, but you couldn't be more wrong on a number of fronts:
    Yes, they started out young, but given the complex nature of Lars Horntveth's writing, garage band doesn't really apply,

    As for not first rate players?
    Trumpeter Mathias Eick, in addition to being on a number of ECM albums by others (Iro Haarla, Jacob Yoing), has two albums of his own on the venerable label, most recently the wonderful Skala.

    Trombonist Erik Johanssen, in addition to participating on a number of projects with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra - a group of no small reputation - has a solo trombone album out that is absolutely wonderful. He's a serious player.

    Drummer Martin Horntveth, in addition to working in a number of other bands, has become a noted soundtrack composer; tubaist/flautist/singer Line Horntveth is also involved in other projects, including a wonderful evening revolving around Norwegian poetry as part of BBC radio host Fiona Talkington's Conexions series, which brings together British and Norwegian musicians of note for new projects (that's how, in fact the Jaga/Britten Sinfonia project began..as a Conexions show); Lars Horntveth, in addition to being part of another well-known Norwegian group that's more pop than Jaga, is a tremendous musician, most astoundingly considering the number he plays. His saxophone solo at a recent Heidelberg show I was at was a sow-stopper. Keyboardist Øysteih Moen, in addition to being in Puma, an all-improv band with guitar non-conventionalist Stian Westerhus (winner if last year's Norwegian Grammy for his duo record with singer Sidsel Endresen) and drummer Gard Nilssen (Bushmam's Revenge), is in Westerhus' new rock group, Pale Horses, with drummer Erland Dahlen - who, with Westerhus, played in Nils Petter Molvær's trio of the past couple years before they left to pursue other projects.

    There's plenty more, but bottom line: each and every member of Jaga Jazzist is an accomplished player (they'd have to, to play the music they make, especially more recent fare like One-Armed Bandit).

    As Jaga turns 20 this year,it's important to note that a band this size makes no money when it tours. Instead, Jaga is. Project that all its members believe in, and make time for each year, for a relatively small number of gigs, they all make their livings as musicians and writers in other contexts.

    I'd also not diminish the important or cost of maintaining really good music education programs....in the case of Norway, more cultural education rather than just music. In public schools they are so expensive that, where I live, where once every high school had a music program, now only two do, which is a real shame. IMO, music education is important for more than just the cultural aspects; music is one of the only whole brain exercises, utilizing both the analytical right and creative left sided (or did I get that backwards?). Even if they don't move in to take it seriously, music education for your children is, I think, important for that reason alone. But don't underestimate the cost to maintain cultural education, from pre-school to college level.

    And, as far as I understand, Lars did NOT have formal training; he picked up pretty much everything he knows - which is significant; he scored most of the Jaga/Britten collaboration, with some help from Johansssn, who DOES have a formal background.

    Your comparison to the White Stripes, sorry to say, makes very little sense to me,other than that Jacck White, Lars absolutely did have to figure most of it out for himself. That he has studied himself and become an incredibly broad-scoped musician and composer is a testimony to his clear intellect and feel for music. That Jaga has succeeded is because it is absolutely filled with top rate players; this is not music, if you dissect it,that could be played by average players; it's simply too complex, too long-form, too detailed and harmonically too sophisticated to demand anything less.

  25. #50
    Quote Originally Posted by Udi Koomran View Post
    Was Tord Gustavsen mentioned ?
    In my article? I seem to recall so. He has a new album, btw, and it's another stunner of quiet beauty.
    Last edited by jkelman; 01-08-2014 at 09:37 AM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •