2L - 2L-087-LP - 180 Gram Virgin Vinyl - Pressed at Pallas
When a Jazz bonehead like yours truly has no option but to endorse this Jazz album wholeheartedly with a Blue Moon award, there can only be one of two explanations. This is no Jazz. Or, this is absolutely awesome Jazz. - 6Moons Award
HOFF ENSEMBLE consists of some of Norway's finest jazz and session musicians, fronted by trumpeter Mathias Eick, of ECM renown, who plays a leading role in several of the compositions. The ensemble's basic quartet features legendary veteran bassist Arild Andersen and arranger Jan Gunnar Hoff on piano. Hoff has performed with his own group since 1993, collaborating with such artists as Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Maria Joao and Alex Acuna. This time in this great Norwegian band he mixes flavours in a "cross-over" setting. Eick, with whom Hoff has worked on earlier projects, was the obvious first choice for QUIET WINTER NIGHT, along with Andersen and the rest of the band, complemented by Rune Arnesen (ex N.P.Molvær) on percussion and Børge Petersen-Øverleir, Norway's leading session guitarist. Brilliant fiddle player Annbjørg Lien is an exciting addition to the HOFF ENSEMBLE, giving QUIET WINTER NIGHT a sound that is definitely Nordic with elements of jazz, folk and beyond, making this an interesting and original journey. On some of the instrumental tracks, like "Blågutten", Eick and Petersen-Øverleir create an overall jazz/fusion sound, while the trio setting of "Redd Mamma" is reminiscent of the work of Sweden's Jan Johansson. "Hva skal hende nå" bears comparison with Metheny's ballad form, yet with a more rock-influenced guitar sound. This tune also includes a great bass solo by Andersen.
The music is created by film composers Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud and among the vocalists are some of Norway's top names (and Universal artists) in popular music: Helene Bøksle, Åsne Valland Nordli, Sondre Bratland, Unni Wilhelmsen, Tomine Harket, Bjørn Johan Muri, Cecilia Vennersten and Bjørn Eidsvåg. The music captured by 2L features Norwegian composers and performers, and an international repertoire reflected in the Nordic atmosphere. The surround sound recordings of Lindberg Lyd not only transforms the entire listening experience, more radically, these innovative recordings overturn some very basic concepts regarding how music is played and even composed. 2L emphasizes surround sound with Pure Audio Blu-ray and HiRes file distribution, and have garnered no less than 14 American GRAMMY nominations over the past six years.
’m a total idiot when it comes to Jazz. No wonder I’ve never dared to write one word on this topic. But this new Jazz album from 2L cast a spell over me. It hit me so bad that I decided to violate my music review ethics (if any are left) and plunge into the forbidden topic. When the first line popped into my head, it was sobering. This is no Jazz? At least not the kind I fear most. Really, fourteen tracks plus one bonus all got me helplessly hooked. For someone who can’t survive a single track of a normal Jazz album, this came as quite a shock.
1. Dronning Fjellrose = Queen Fjellrose (her name means "Mountain Rose")
2. Stille, stille kommer vi = Quiet, quiet, here we come
3. Dele alle ord og tanker = Share all words and thoughts
4. Redd Mamma = Save Mother
5. Sulla, sulla krekling = Hush, hush, little one
6. Blågutten = The Blue Boy
7. Ville fjellgutt = Wild Mountain Boy
8. Hva skal hende nå? = What shall happen now?
9. Ved bålet = By the camp fire
10. Tufsa danser = Tufsa dancing (Tufsa is the name of one of the characters)
11. Vesle, rare bygdeunge = Little sweet village boy
12. En blånissekveld = A night for the blue hobgoblins (The word "nisse" is a mythical figure that could translate to either hobgoblin, brownie or pixie in the English language. These characters are good spirited.)
13. Kveldslokk for små unger = A lullaby for little kids
14. Lys i desember = Light in December