Tag Archives: Morten Qvenild

All About Jazz Italy review by Luca Vitali

Trinity – Breaking the Mold (CF 139)

Trinity è un quartetto che come Supersilent, Atomic, The Thing riunisce improvvisatori di gran classe che sanno forgiare musica tellurica caratterizzata da indipendenza e originalità.
Vero leader di questa formazione è Kjetil Moster, ex sassofonista dei Core, che dopo alcuni anni trascorsi in Sudafrica e frequentazioni rock/hardcore con Datarock è tornato, ormai da qualche tempo, al jazz.
Registrazione live, colta nel 2006 a Molde, con Morten Qvenild (leader di In The Country e Magical Orchestra con Susanna Wallumrod) alle tastiere, Ingebrit Haker Flaten al basso e Thomas Stronen alla batteria. Attacco furioso che lentamente lascia spazio a sonorità più tranquille anche se sempre molto cupe, scure.
Musica che in qualche modo si addice all’etichetta Clean Feed, di area free, ma in cui le influenze schizoidi ed elettroniche in pieno stile Supersilent si fanno sentire. Momenti di flebile lacerante lamento del sax su fondali di organo, basso, batteria ed elettronica che si alternano a tratti più tesi e convulsi, piccole eruzioni telluriche che animano un magma sonoro di grande intensità.

Moster esplora al meglio le possibilità timbriche dello strumento avventurandosi in territori inusuali per un sax tenore, assai più vicini alle sonorità del flauto. Qvenild incastona autentiche gemme dal sapore quasi pop in un tessuto sonoro di grande coesione e compattezza, il drumming di Stronen è fitto e colorito, mai giocato sui muscoli, dribbla in agilità creando fitte texture con la maestria, più pacata del solito, di Flaten, stranamente preponderante all’archetto, per un risultato collettivo di grande interazione ed emozione.
Ancora una volta è difficile definire questo disco come jazz, ma perché classificarlo ad ogni costo, quando in fondo si tratta di buona musica nata dalla grande vocazione per l’improvvisazione e frutto di diversi, e non per questo in collisione, background musicali?…

Temporary Fault review by Massimo Ricci

A Pair Of Not So Recent Clean Feeds
With many more to come (…). This makes me think that roundup reviews are not so useful after all. In the future I won’t wait for publishing a write-up until having listened eight CDs of the same label. It’s probably better to break them in smaller groups, or it could take years…

TRINITY – Breaking The Mold (CF 139)
A Norwegian quartet mingling dissimilar influences – jazz, space rock, harsh electronica – through predominantly jarring procedures that could appear scarcely lucid on a first try, but instead let slip a substantial degree of imagination. Ultimately, and most important, Trinity don’t sound like anything else (at least in the Clean Feed catalogue). All the four members have gone through the most disparate kind of collaboration: Jaga Jazzist to Mats Gustafsson, Raoul Bjorkenheim to Nate Wooley, the leader – saxophonist and clarinettist Kjetil Møster – a metal rock bassist in his past, before switching to reeds. Implausible yet efficient solutions abound, powerful sax blasts juxtaposed with half-ethereal, half-acrid atonal keyboard fluids (Morten Qvenild) that possess the rare gift of not sounding like an amassment of presets. The “rhythm section” – bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Thomas Strønen – is in actuality half of a palette where abstraction, violence, rituality and persuasive soloing succeed, seemingly in lack of a definite compositional planning. The complete nonexistence of ambassadorial accents and inconclusively politic neutrality typical of a fat chunk of contemporary jazz brings the whole to an acceptable balance, though. After a couple of spins one realizes that these bizarre sonic concoctions cannot be filed in the archive of banality, despite the difficulty of welcoming them with real infatuation. In any case Trinity deserve attention, if only for their different sound and explorative curiosity.

HERCULANEUM – Herculaneum III (CF 140)
Given the presence of a flute (Nate Lepine) and the album title, one would think about Focus. But this record is more like a finely detailed replica of certain past atmospheres involving medium-sized jazz combos and larger orchestral entities, the music skilfully devised in absolute respect for the tradition, lush arrangements and extensive solo sections alternated with sapience and sensitiveness. The large part of the tracks were written by drummer and vibraphonist Dylan Ryan, which might appear as an oddity but it’s not, the music possessing indeed an effervescent pulse that animates scores where, in some circumstances, the tremendous contrapuntal richness might induce someone to think to relative sluggishness. In that sense, David Mcdonnell (alto sax, clarinet), Nick Broste (trombone) and Patrick Newbery (trumpet and flugelhorn) provide a significant miscellany of non-invasive colloquialism and management of virtuosity, gratifying the ears with a melange of piquancy and obedience. Guitarist John Beard’s clean-toned rationality and bassist Greg Danek’s solidly corpulent presence complete an ensemble that consider revolution a dated concept while trying to revolutionize behind-the-times music. One can’t help but admit that listening to this attempt equals a lovely chat with a beautifully aged woman; even lovers of Frank Zappa’s The Grand Wazoo could find something palatable here. Good stuff.

Cadence Magazine review by Marc Medwin

CF 136
Michael Blake / Kresten osgood – Control this (CF 136)

CF 139
Trinity – Breaking the Molde (CF 139)

Check out these veterans of the diverse Alternative/Hardcore/Free Jazz scenes as they place two very different but equally engaging platters in Clean Feed’s ever-increasing catalog. The duo disc (1) comes courtesy of tenor saxophonist Michael Blake, whose alto work as heard here is new to me. His tenure with the fabled Lounge Lizards afforded him lightning-fast reflexes, and these are on display throughout these improvisations. Kresten Osgood is every bit his equal, stopping over and over on the proverbial dime Danilo Perez by Jimmie Jones seemingly with no path left behind him. The title track distills all that is best about the collaboration. Blake lays down some motivic
pointillisms, spitting forth multiphonic bursts along the way. Osgood picks up immediately on an almost hidden military vibe, rendering it apparent with some quasi-cadences. The veteran partners man-age to hold it all together as they dabble in Funk, new thing and Bebop tropes, often breathing as one musician. At other points on the disc, Osgood’s tuned drumming conjures the beautifully scorching Flaherty/Edwards duos on Cadence Jazz Records as a bassist becomes superfluous. Their sense of history is manifest in an unusual way as they glide through a version of the late 1920’s Ellington classic, “Creole Love Call,” which begins every bit as slinkily as the original before blasting into the stratosphere.

Trinity’s contribution (2) brings volume and raises the density factor considerably. When the quartet is in high gear, as they are from the first moments of this widely diverse disc, they’re in Ayler/Taylor/Trane mode, Moster even invoking Meditations with his shofar blasts. The second track finds the aggregate in entirely different territory, soft shards of electronic sound riddled with percussive puncture wounds and long-breathed multiphonics. All seems to be leading up to the final epic improvisation, enthralling in its sudden shifts in tempo, intensity, and non-conventional timbre. These discs are definitely for lovers of adventurous music, who will be rewarded with each listen.
©Cadence Magazine 2009 www.cadencebuilding.com

Jazz’n’More review by Jürg Solothurnmann

CF 139TRINITY – Breaking The Mold (CF 139)
Note: 4

Ausbruch aus fixen Formen mit Spielfreude und Witz. Die skandinavische Jazzszene steht bei uns hoch im Kurs, doch meistens wegen den romantisierenden Produktionen, welche das Klischee vom „coolen“ Norden bestätigen. Aehnlich wie etwa Supersilent markiert Trinity aber die eruptiv-intuitive Gegenseite. Bei noch uns ebenso unbekannt, leitet Møster in der Region Oslo eine Reihe von Bands. Er startete als muskulöser Rockbassist bevor er sein Idol Coltrane entdeckte. Beide Seiten inspirieren die eher dichten, kantigen Soundbilder dieses Quartetts, die dann im monumentalen vierten Set auch in kahle weite Traumlandschaften abtauchen. Manche der freien kollektiven Erfindungen erinnern an den späten Coltrane, Ayler und Rashied Ali, manche sind elektronische Musik jenseits von Sun Ra. Der Keyboarder Qvenild (Ex-Jaga Jazzist) benutzt intensiv live-elektronischen Verfremdungen mit Ringmodulator und Pedalen und mischt sich auch mit den ekstatischsten Saxofonsounds, und auch die Kollegen Flaten (Mats Gustafsson, Raoul Björkenheim) und Strønen sind voll dabei. Das Sound- und Energiespiel des Free Jazz ist nicht passé, aber es wird hier relativiert und potenziert mit verschiedenen Zeit- oder Rhythmusebenen. Entweder geht man mit auf die schamanistische Reise – oder man wird abgeworfen.

Free Jazz review by Stef

cf-139Trinity – Breaking The Mold (CF 139)
With all the respect I have for the Clean Feed label, when I put on this record, I thought, “no, not again”, when listening to violent saxes annex electronics, wondering why all this is necessary, even if the album starts quite slowly and relatively quietly, eery and gloomy. But as you grow accustomed to the band’s approach (if that’s achievable), the quality of the music increases. Again some Scandinavians doing strong things : led by saxophonist Kjetil Moster, the band further consists of Morten Qvenild on keyboards, Ingebrigt Haker Flaten on bass, and Thomas Stronen on drums. So it starts in an interesting way, with plaintive wailing sax against a background of organ, bass, drums and electronics. Slowly the long piece moves into a more tense mode, with organ and sax reacting to each other in small bursts of sound, with interspersed electronics and then, well… all hell breaks loose, as you might have expected. The second, short piece is driven by the electronics and the arco bass, and if it were not for the sax joining after a while, it would be hard to classify this as jazz, yet it sounds good, like an ocean at night, slight wind, no land to be seen. In contrast, the third piece drops you in the middle of a rock avalanche, a weird unrelenting environment from which you can’t escape, wondering whether you would even want to. But all that is just the long introduction to the last, expansive, magnificent piece, that drags you along for half an hour of intense musical joy. It starts with a powerful interaction between sax and accompanying instruments, then the intensity drops for some floating mist created by organ and electronics, a barely tangible sound, a backdrop with no foreground. And when the emotional, fragile sax enters, you know you’re in for a treat, because of the intensity and the quality of the sounds created, the slow pacing, and the time taken to make each sound come to full fruition and appreciation, but as it goes with carefully built-up tension, it needs release somehow, … and it does come, gradually, intensifying the silent moaning, speeding up the tempo, increasing the volume, and the explosion does come, expansive, wild, pounding, crashing, screeching, howling, … What more do you want?