Saturday, April 01, 2006

Bugge Wesseltoft - Moving

Jazzland 013 534-2

Recorded 2001

1. Change (Chilluminati Remix)
2. Gare Du Nord
3. Yellow Is The Colour
4. Lone
5. Moving
6. South

On this 2001 album, Norwegian pianist/composer/producer Bugge Wesseltoft further refines his concept of 'the new conception of jazz'. Having started out playing stereotypically Nordic ECM-style jazz, Bugge (pronounced 'Boogie') formed the jazzland label and brought out several records in a new, experimental jazz style that fused elements of electronic music with traditional jazz instrumentation to excellent effect. That new style is seen clearly throughout this album - 'Change' and 'Gare Du Nord' in particular being based around strong house-influenced rhythms that recall Blue Note's 'St. Germain'. We have to wait until 'Yellow is the Colour' for something older in it's outlook. Over a chattering ambient beat, Wesseltoft sets out a strongly melodic theme very much in the style of that other great contemporary Norwegian pianist, Tord Gustavsen. At the half-way point, Hakon Kornstad enters on tenor with a remarkably Pharoah Sanders-esque solo - all overtones and trilling - that anchors the whole track to avant-garde jazz tradition. It's like a decent take on updating the impulse! back catalogue for today's audience (click on this link for an example of how not to do this). The closing 'South' is also excellent - warm and inviting, mainly courtesy of some supremely alluring bass playing courtesy of Ingebrigt Flaten. Overall it's a great album, and is that rare beast that works well as either a fine close listen or tasteful background music.

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