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The Guardian (UK) - original article

In The Country: Losing Stones, Collecting Bones


Morten Qvenild has already made an impact on the Norwegian music scene as half of Susanna And The Magical Orchestra and in Solveig Slettahjell's brilliant Slow Motion Quintet. In The Country is the keyboard player's own trio, and this new collection is an improvement on their overrated debut This Was The Pace Of My Heartbeat.

Qvenild has a great talent for musical atmosphere - he can create a distinctive mood with very few notes and sounds, which is probably why he's such a useful sideman. His melodies are spacious and memorable; his approach to rhythm brings to mind a relaxed Esbjorn Svensson - with a pinch of early Keith Jarrett. Yet Qvenild is not competing in the improvised piano trio stakes: In The Country is more like a chilled nu-jazz orchestra in miniature. There are guest appearances from guitarist Marc Ribot and singer Stefan Sundstrom, who croons, "Everyone's going to die" on Everyone Live Their Life - both moving and hilarious.

Published : 05.01.2007