The December Second of Jazz post is about a young Norwegian pianist, Maren Selvaag.
Selvaag has a Bachelor’s degree from the acknowledged jazz department at the University of Trondheim, NTNU, and a Master’s degree in performing jazz piano from the Norwegian Academy of Music. In addition to being an eminent pianist, she has dedicated some of her time to the organization INFI, which strives to recruit and inspire women to become professional instrumentalists.
Earlier this year she released the album "Min gylne time" together with vocalist Andreas Backer, and translator Per Axel Prydz. This album is a collection of new arrangements of classical standards, and Prydz has translated the lyrics into Norwegian.
Selvaag’s newest album, "Close to Shore", was released on the 14th of November this year. Together with Eivind Opsvik on bass and Eric McPherson on drums, she creates mesmerizing lyrical sounds.
Among my favorite tracks on this album are "No Blues" and "Parkeisenbahn". The latter can be described as a fast song played slowly. The first time I heard this melody I was intrigued by the combination of McPherson’s energetic play, and the smooth and dreamy feel created by Opsvik and Selvaag. It’s exactly this dualism that makes this melody so interesting.
I look forward to hear more from this young pianist.
I recommend all jazz enthusiasts to start the weekend off with Close to Shore on the stereo.