Monday, October 23, 2006

Nils Petter Molvaer - An American Compilation (Thirsty Ear, 2006)

Nils Petter Molvaer is a Norwegian jazz trumpeter who has been a pioneer in using electronics in jazz, gaining fame with his ECM records Solid Ether and Khmer that wedded techno beats and electronic soundscapes to jazz. This collection features selections from albums he cut in the early 2000's that were not available in the USA and serves as his introduction to the Thirsty Ear label who has done quite a few "jazztronica" experiments with artists like Matthew Shipp and Spring Heel Jack. Molvaer does have a unique sound and it is interesting listening to him as the beats and grooves he uses seem alien to the mainstream jazz of the United States which is based on the bluesy hard bop of the 1950's and 60's. Some examples are the tracks "Frozen" and "Little Indian" which keep a mid tempo sheen of electronic music while Molvaer's open trumpet floats over the top. "Vildermness," which was recorded live is a standout track using the skittering electronic beats to take a fast pace as the trumpeter bobs and weaves in and out. To those interested in the intersection of jazz and electronic music or the hybrid jazz that has become popular in Europe this makes for apassableeintroductionn to Molvaer's work. People whose tastes run toward the traditional American bop, blues and ballads can safely pass this by.

Send comments to: Tim