Maridalen, Maridalen *****

Very 1950s. But what a striking sound that does not belong in a jazz, or any, museum. Almost rockabilly double bass once you get into it with a sort of a Jimmy Giuffre-type atmosphere to 'På gjensyn' bolted on first impulsive impressions suggest. …

Published: 9 Apr 2021. Updated: 6 months.

Very 1950s. But what a striking sound that does not belong in a jazz, or any, museum. Almost rockabilly double bass once you get into it with a sort of a Jimmy Giuffre-type atmosphere to 'På gjensyn' bolted on first impulsive impressions suggest. These then swirl around. The presence of trumpet (it's Pixel's Jonas Kilmork Vemøy no less) is almost an afterthought because the Maridalen sound is greater than the sum of the parts and is a collective unity. That is part of the magic. Who the hell are they? Why does it matter? And most of all what on earth does 'På gjensyn' mean? Before getting to all that other members are saxophonist Anders Hefre and double bassist Andreas Rødland Haga by the way. From Norway the band sound as if they were born in a jazz club and currently are resident permanently in one and yet they made the album in a church. Something as good as this does not come along every day. 'På gjensyn' may mean ''Goodbye'' unless Google Translate has been on the bevvy again and the piece really is about someone called Godtfrida. What, while we're at it is 'Blir det regn i dag, tru?' translated as something like ''Will it rain today, believe me?'' it appears. Glad to be of service. Both tracks are ace by the way. 'Koral' is very adroitly arranged, the harmonies coming through very achingly. 'Svartoren' with more experimental arco bass at the beginning changes the timbral dimension of the sound and also appeals. 'Russisk landsbymelodi' (''Russian village melody'') has an insistent quality is very compositionally strong and you could imagine this piece being orchestrated. Noir of course is needed up to a point on anything Nordic. May 'Midt på natten et sted' meaning ''In the middle of the night somewhere'' be the place to locate the very same? Tsk, no. The Maridalen sound isn't ostentatiously if for some disappointingly fully doom-laden. The individuals involved are content to look solemnly into the middle distance a fair bit but they do joy too as a spin-off. It's been a while since I've been turned on by anything from Norway as much as Maridalen. Remember where you are when you first hear this amazing record. Jot the place name down even if it is a remote car park that comes with a Lidl. Never mind if you don't because we are in territory that is idyll all the way. On Jazzland. Jonas Kilmork Vemøy, top left, Andreas Rødland Haga, Anders Hefre

Tags:

The pulsating 'Dignity' by Angélique Kidjo feat. Yemi Alade is now streaming

The great Beninoise singer Angélique Kidjo here on the pulsating, head bobbing 'Dignity' featuring Nigerian singer Yemi Alade inspired by the youth-led movement to disband the corrupt Nigerian police unit the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Kidjo says: …

Published: 8 Apr 2021. Updated: 6 months.

Next post

The great Beninoise singer Angélique Kidjo here on the pulsating, head bobbing 'Dignity' featuring Nigerian singer Yemi Alade inspired by the youth-led movement to disband the corrupt Nigerian police unit the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Kidjo says: “Many people think that police brutality only happens in America, but it’s everywhere. This song is against brutality, but it’s also about how we need to treat each other with dignity, treat nature with dignity, and treat ourselves with dignity. Because if we can’t see the dignity that Mother Nature gave to all of us, then how can we walk tall?”

Out now through Verve in France