Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Flaten/Kornstad/Christensen: Live At Oslo Jazzfestival

Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (double bass)
Jon Christensen (drums)
Hakon Kornstad (sax, flute)
Live At Olso Jazzfestival (Compunctio, 2011)

This live recording features two of Norway's more recent and revered musicians, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (member of The Thing and Atomic) and Hakon Kornstad with homeland legend, Jon Christensen. This is a follow up to aforementioned duo's wonderful Elise release. Both explore Norwegian folk hymns. But the exciting thing about this live recording is the ability of this evening to be both improvisational, playful and accessible.

A calm, introspective affair that allows the listener to experience the depth and space of each instrument. Beginning with Keith Jarrett's "Death And The Flower", the trio cut an intricate and powerful path. Christensen and Kornstad both deliver bold performances that reshape Jarrett's minor classic into a something beautiful and all their own. Kornstad really shines throughout this evening with a Sonny Rollins-esque playfulness. "Skulde jeg min gud ei prise" highlights this spirited aesthetic as Kornstad runs through bright and expressive passages with ease.  Kornstad, Flaten and Christensen all plow throughout "Du hoye fryd for rene sjele" with midtempo force and some great interplay that has a lot of lyrical strength.

Live At Olso Jazzfestival is a brilliant work documenting a live session of folk songs from a trio playing freely and opening with the time and space. And the results are sublime. This is a rare opportunity for jazz fans to experience past, present, future legends in one evening. The trio also recorded a second concert in Uppsala which will be release soon. Both are fascinating and outstanding recordings. A real music listen and highly recommended.

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