A couple of weeks ago I visited one of Oslo's (in my unbiased opinion) most valuable landmarks. I'm talking about the record shop Bare Jazz. A good-mood-guarantee for all jazz enthusiasts. Tom, who is one of the guys working there, gave me a great tip for this month's secondofjazz post. He told me to check out the musician Andreas Loven... so I did.
Andreas Loven is a pianist and composer from Norway. He recently released his album District Six. The first song I listened to from this album was African piano. Now, I know there are probably as many perceptions of what "groove" is as there are personalities. Nevertheless, for me Loven captures the essence of groove with his first two chords in this song. To be fair, the bassist elegantly lays the groundwork for him. Still, I think his introduction is a statement. It's playful, cool, smooth and enjoyably precise. I guess that's what you get when you put an engineer with a strong jazz gene in front of tangents.
Eight seconds and an impeccable two-chord-introduction! That's all it took for me to know I would enjoy writing this secondofjazz post.
Luckily my first impression didn't collapse on the ninth second of African piano. This track was nearly nine minutes of musical joy for me, which made me listen through the whole album over and over. There's a breadth of moods and atmospheres in this album, but there is also a consistency to it that gives the album a strong character. In addition District Six represents two musical traditions that give it another interesting dimension. I'm definitely more familiar with the Nordic scales (which are persistently recognizable in this album) than with the South African ones, and District Six triggers the explorerer in me.
You can listen to his album here or on losenrecords.no.
I found it really interesting to read about Loven's background and the history that has inspired his music, and I recomend you read about it either on his web page andreasloven.com, or in this well written article.
Wish you all a good secondofjazz!