Saturday, June 11, 2011

Earshot Jazz presents In The Country at Tula’s Jazz Club: Jun 24

The Scandinavian piano-led jazz trio and quartet has become a staple of the "ECM Sound", as represented by such players as the Tord Gustavsen Trio, and Keith Jarrett's Quartet with Jan Garbarek. This month, Earshot Jazz brings to town an entry from ECM's avant-garde sister label, Rune Grammofon at Tula's Jazz Club. Led by pianist Morten Qvenild, bass player Roger Arntzen, and drummer Pål Hausken, In The Country delivers their own variation on this sound as heard in their soaring progressive work, documented on 2009's "Whiteout". This burgeoning Scandinavian scene to which the band belongs was covered by Jazz Times, in their "The Sound of Young Norway". Its cultural locus largely centered around the curatorial and aesthetic bedrock that is the Scandinavian classical, jazz and improv label, ECM. Now four decades in the running, Dan Jennings posits in the New York Times "ECM: CDs Know that Ears Have Eyes", that this may be the greatest era yet for Manfred Eicher's label and recording studio. By way of introduction to the foundational developments of these labels and the artists therein, no better document exists than Johannes Rød's, "Free Jazz and Improvisation on Vinyl 1965-1985", published by Norwegian vanguard imprint Rune Grammofon. Tracing independent free jazz and improv labels between 1965 and 1985, from the beginning of ESP-Disk through to the current era of vinyl revival and ascendant digital formats. With some 60 labels covered in the volume, and forewords by Mats Gustafsson and label founder, Rune Kristoffersen, the edition perfectly encapsulates this particular brand of what The Guardian's Richard Williams calls, "Norwegian Blues".