Olsen’s CV includes work with Chick Corea and the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. A potent player, he’s also an ambitious composer. This 70-plus minutes suite was inspired by distilled lines from James Baldwin which could sit well in both the blues and Zen traditions. Recorded live at the Victoria Nasjonal Jazzscene in Oslo, the music is as passionate as it is reflective and draws upon a 12-piece ensemble with two violins and a cello; Siril Malmedal Hauge (v) intones the Baldwin. The press release speaks of “taking the Ellington Spirit into the 21st century” but it was latter-day Mingus who came to my mind. Splendid stuff.
Martin Myhre Olsen (ss, as); Siril Malmedal Hauge (v); Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen (clo); Christian Meaas Svendsen (b,v); Simon Olderskog Albertsen (d, vbs) & others.
Ora Fonogram 134