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LOSEN 119 (Barcode: 7090025831195) ~ NORWAY ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2013 Released: 2014

This is the fourteenth recording as a leader by the celebrated Norwegian pianist / composer Jan Gunnar HoffFind albums by this artist, recorded in a quartet setting with Norwegian trumpeter Arve HenriksenFind albums by this artist, Swedish bassist Anders JorminFind albums by this artist and Danish (born in US) drummer / percussionist Marilyn MazurFind albums by this artist. The album presents ten original compositions, all by Hoff.

Recorded at the legendary Rainbow Studio in Oslo and engineered by Jan Erik KongshaugFind albums by this artist, this album is the epitome of what is known as Scandinavian Jazz or Scandinavian Sound, popularized for decades by ECM Records. Characterized by slow, melancholic, introvert and minimalistic melody lines and delicate, rounded notes, that seem to be floating like leaves in the wind or flowers on the (icy) water, The Scandinavian Sound has many avid followers around the globe and honestly nobody even tries to mimic this unique phenomenon, not even the Chinese ;)

Of course Scandinavian Sound is often criticized by (mostly American) Jazz fans and critics for being tedious and lacking the basic daring Jazz spirit of exploration and discovery. Sadly in some cases this is indeed true, but certainly the entire idiom is very far from that shortsighted criticism, and in many cases produces extraordinary music, full of intelligence and deep emotion, and proudly representing the multifaceted European Jazz.

There is no doubt that this music, apart from being breathtakingly beautiful, is also very communicative. The ability of musicians to communicate with their audiences without compromising their artistic vision is often underestimated, and this album is a superb example of such a case. This music can be absorbed on many different levels, from the purely emotional to the deeply intellectual, with each of these levels having something magical to offer to the listener.

Although the focus of the album is directed towards Hoff´s piano, which he plays with grace and virtuosity, the other members of the quartet also contribute enormously; Henriksen´s "flute-like" trumpet sound is absolutely unique and captivating, Jormin, who is one of my all times favorite bassists, plays marvelously and his long melodic lines are a balsam to the ears and finally Mazur is, as always, more ornamenting the proceedings with her delicate and wonderfully timed touches, rather than setting the rhythms.

Overall this is an instant Scandinavian Sound classic, which was warmly received upon its release and surely will keep many listeners happy in years to come!
Updated: 08/03/2016Posted: 08/03/2016CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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