Gine Gaustad Anderssen: piano, vocals; Carl Emil Svensson: guitars; Arve Henriksen: trumpet; Thomas Gustafsson: saxophone; Fredrik Nilsson: double bass; Johannes Lundberg: double bass; Hermund Nygard: drums, percussion; Martin Ohman: drums, percussion. Recorded 2014 at Studio Epidermin, Gothenburg
While she has developed her career as pianist, improviser and singer, particularly in performance with Dessert Time and Yours Truly, as well as touring Japan with Scandinavian Connection, this is Gine Gaustad Anderssen's first CD of her own pieces. The CD opens with the beautiful ‘Heim’ on which Anderssen plays a gently repeating piano figure over which she sings, in Norwegian and English.
Henriksen plays a characteristically imaginative trumpet solo which works a wide range of tones and sounds, from sounding like a trumpet ensemble in some places to sounding like a goat-horn in others. This piece is a fine introduction to this collection which, as the press release emphasises, is a mediation of what home means. Anderssen grew up in Tennfjiord, before settling in Gothenburg, and the music here she says is ‘making the fjords deeper, the winds stronger and the mountains higher’. Anderssen’s voice has a fragility, particularly in the higher register, that is engaging and soothing while also conveying a wide range of emotions. Her use of overdubs, where she sings multiple parts, gives a choral sound in places that works particularly well.
Veteran sax genius, Gustafsson provides elegant soprano solos on three of the tracks, picking out the vocal and lyrical themes of the tunes. Svensson’s guitar takes over the role of piano on most of the tracks, with Anderssen concentrating on her singing. Track 7, ‘I dine skep’, begins with a bass solo from Nilsson before Anderssen sings a torch song before the bass kicks back in with a 5/4 loping line pushed along by Nygard’s toms. Around this, Svensson weaves trebly Americana-like guitar lines, and Anderssen’s singing becomes increasingly impassioned.
All the tracks here are really good but this one, with its mixture of sounds and rhythms, is stunning. While the line up is clearly that of a jazz band, and the rhythms are often in the jazz tradition, this is too broad a collection to file solely under jazz – although, I guess, Duke Ellington was right when he said that there was only ‘good music and the other kind’, and so this is just very good music.
Reviewed by Chris Baber
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