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NORDIC CIRCLES ~ UNDER THE CLOUDS
AMP 009 (Barcode: 662578831020) ~ NORWAY ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2016 - 2017 Released: 2017

This is the second album by the fabulous Norwegian Jazz project called Nordic CirclesFind albums by this artist, which creates an opportunity for established Jazz musicians to perform with the young and upcoming representatives of the genre, not limiting the project to Norway but including also musicians from other Nordic countries. The ad-hoc lineup of the ensemble is a sextet this time and includes Swedish pianist Lars JanssonFind albums by this artist, Norwegian vocalist Siril Malmedal HaugeFind albums by this artist, Danish bassist Jesper BodilsenFind albums by this artist, Norwegian saxophonist Magnus BakkenFind albums by this artist, Norwegian guitarist Jacob YoungFind albums by this artist and Swedish (resident in Norway) drummer Anders ThorenFind albums by this artist. Together they perform seven original compositions (four composed by Jansson and three by Bodilsen), one freely improvised piece and one composition by the Swedish songwriter Olle AdolphsonFind albums by this artist. The author of the English language lyrics to the songs remains undisclosed on the album´s packaging. The album was recorded at the legendary Rainbow studio in Oslo with the no less legendary Jan Erik KongshaugFind albums by this artist in charge of the sonic result, which as usual in such case is extraordinary.

The music is mostly deeply melodic, ranging from melancholic ballads to more energetic pieces, all of which are deeply influenced by the Nordic lyricism, which of course is the essence of the project. Even the improvised piece remains pretty disciplined and does not disturb the overall melodic and harmonic approach of the album as a whole.

The individual performances by the participating musicians are all absolutely stunning, as expected. The young lions play comfortably along with the veterans without any inferiority complexes and for the listener it is impossible to recognize the age differences. Jansson has a wonderful melodic approach and the music simply flows from under his fingers. Bakken and Young play some very uplifting solos and the rhythm section elegantly keeps the music on track, providing the pulse. But the most exciting surprise is the young vocalist, who performs melodic lines and vocalese with the same ease and elegance. Her vocal improvisations are definitely some of the most thrilling parts on this album.

Overall this is a wonderful example of melodic Nordic mainstream Jazz, full of moving lyrical content and exciting playing. Wonderfully put together and stunningly recorded, this is unadulterated delight from start to finish for a wide range of Jazz connoisseurs, especially those drawn to the icy Nordic atmosphere. Well done!
Updated: 01/10/2017Posted: 01/10/2017CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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