Janne Mark writes hymns. And yet there is nothing about her that is stuck in a fusty tradition. She writes in the here and now, she is socially aware and committed, and in her work she draws on the freedom of jazz and all of the breadth of the Scandinavian folk tradition.
And that is how her songs have established their place outside the canon of sacred music and in the secular space. As she explains herself, “the music of ‘Pilgrim’ is written for people who are unfamiliar with the church as well as for those who know it well.”
The music of the Christian church and jazz have always been closely related. Spirituals and then gospel music were both a fertile nurturing ground for jazz and an important source of inspiration. Janne Mark has enlisted the participation of Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen. Henriksen is an important figure in Nordic jazz, and is also known for his work with Lars Danielsson on projects such as the “Liberetto” albums.
Henriksen’s unique flute-like trumpet sound with all its emotion and expressiveness fits in superbly. In fact Mark had wanted to incorporate it into her music for a long time. “Arve’s sound reaches into the deepest layers of human existence,” she says. “When I first heard it, it affected me so completely and totally, I knew I had to follow the path of that sound.”
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