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ORA FONOGRAM 121 (Barcode: 7090015631217) ~ NORWAY ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2017 Released: 2017

This is an album by Norwegian Jazz sextet MoleculesFind albums by this artist, led by vocalist Karoline WallaceFind albums by this artist and also including trumpeter Tancred Heyerdahl HusoFind albums by this artist, saxophonist Jonas Flemsaeter HamreFind albums by this artist, guitarist Mathias MarstranderFind albums by this artist, bassist Petter AsbjornsenFind albums by this artist and drummer Oyvind SkarboFind albums by this artist. They are joined by pianist Erlend SkomsvollFind albums by this artist and together as a septet perform twelve original compositions, all by Wallace (music and lyrics), with some co-arrangement and co-writing by Skomsvoll and two other Molecules members.

The music is based on the "song" approach deeply based in the modern Jazz idiom, where the songs are complex vocal performances, which feature both lyrics and vocalese. The multilayered instrumental accompaniment is structured around the vocal parts, creating a rich and powerful overall sound almost of a small Big Band. The sound is dense and rather dark, but allows for the individual solo parts to be heard clearly.

The vocal parts are the focus of this music, and Wallace is doing a great job both as composer and performer, to put some light on contemporary vocal Jazz, which is sadly much neglected these years. She uses the ensemble and the pianist to help her express the musical message of her songs, doing so in a wide range of moods and scopes, from intimate vocals-piano duets to large ensemble complex and powerful scores.

Overall this is a very impressive album, which requires an intellectual effort to get into, but at the end is definitely very rewarding. There are many wonderful individual statements, superb ensemble playing and mesmerizing, very unusual vocal parts, which should be of great interest to modern vocal Jazz connoisseurs.

The album also testifies to the incredibly developed and vital Jazz scene in Norway, which is sadly not always recognized beyond its borders and definitely worth investigation, especially in the case of new generation of players which not only continues the country´s Jazz tradition but takes it further into new territory.
Updated: 10/10/2018Posted: 15/02/2018CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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