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Flavourpill (UK)

In The Country: Losing Stones, Collecting Bones

Norwegian jazz scene may have a lower profile than many other European scenes, but the music of Morten Qvenild (piano, keyboards and vocals), Roger Arntzen (double bass) and Pål Hausken (percussion) — all students at Oslo's National Music Academy — is by no means provincial or underdeveloped. For this, their second album as In the Country (following 2005's This Was the Pace of My Heartbeat), the trio take jazz and meld it to other genres in impressively imaginative ways. "Everyone Live Their Life" fuses Lou Reed melancholia with rangy pop progressions; "Can I Come Home Now" sees guest guitarist and Tom Waits collaborator Marc Ribot craft crystalline fretwork over repeated rock motifs; and "Kung Fu Boys" expands a shimmering piano melody and chugging time-signature into a hypnotic tonal machine. Appealing to post-rocker and jazz aficionado alike, this unique synthesis has a significance reaching far beyond Scandinavian climes. (JR)

Publlished : 05.01.2007