Back on the Blog Part 3: More Recordings – Nordic sounds (Bebe/ Wallmyr/Emmeluth)

The round up continues, this time with three recordings that have come my way from the Nordic countries, one from Sweden, one from Denmark and one from a Danish musician based in Norway. Together they cover the waterfront from folk tinged melody through piano trio to un-fettered but thoughtful, experimental improv.

Søren Bebe Trio – Echoes. Bebe is a well established Danish pianist/ composer with a string of releases to his name. It’s far to easy to make comparisons with a bunch of other piano trios from the same part of the world. This release by Bebe shares the restrained, gently grooving, melodic qualities of many of those bands, but with most of the music coming from his pen, he has a way with an affecting theme and rich harmony that sets it apart. There’s plenty of of bustle and propulsion at different stages from his longstanding rhythm section, and a luminous reading of an Elgar theme Sospiri to close the set. Check it out here

Karl Wallmyr – och bara wind. Wallmyr is young Swedish trumpeter. This release is a quintet playing his compositions and it’s full of surprises. With a piano, bass, drums back line the front line is Wallmyr and the clarinet of Alexander Ivarsson. It gives the immediate impression of a chamber group, especially when they kick off with a stately melody called Pastoral, but it loosens up, acquires a dancing feel and edgy solos hint at more to come. A folky tune dissolves into a group improv and then bursts into racing swing. There are overtly elegiac anthems and more tumbling, rubato themes. Somehow they contrive to sound like a much larger ensemble. This is music that defies neat labels. It’s a real treat. I recommend it. You can find it here or here

Spacemusic Ensemble – Is Okay Okay Is Certified. This is a venture led by Danish but Oslo based saxophonist Signe Emmeluth, another younger player. This group combining Emmeluth’s alto with guitar, tuba, vocals, piano and drums, is at the experimental, free end of the spectrum. Emmeluth and guitarist Karl Bjorå use no input mixers. There are corruscating sound-scapes, scripted elements combining melodies or tone rows with text and extended improvisations. The clue is in the name however, there is a lot of space, and thoughtful development rather than unbridled tumult or frenzy is the dominant impression. Check it out here

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