First published in 2013. The pick of the new crop of Norwegian jazz bands making a 'beyond' reputation internationally. The band played the first Match & Fuse festival in London in the summer of 2012 but it exists beyond prog-jazz. The tuneful ‘Be Mine’ could sit on a pop record as could ‘Space’ but hold on: what’s the rest of the band doing? Well there’s the rub. It’s highly coiled, the horns tightly arranged (a little like the way Get the Blessing’s Pete Judge and Jake McMurchie work together).
Following on from their label debut Reminder last year Pixel are double bassist, vocalist, and songwriter Ellen Andrea Wang (Norway’s Esperanza Spalding), drummer Jon Audun Baar, trumpeter Jonas Kilmork Vemøy, and saxophonist Harald Lassen. ‘Farris’ has a Chet-like atmosphere while ‘Edge’ is New Wave in spirit with a punky edge and a scene-stealing saxophone solo from Lassen.
‘Night Dreamer’ has a big chunky sax riff jutting out against insistent drums to begin and so as the album develops the indie pop end of things and the improvising merge. ‘Easter Song’ loops and twists while ‘Passport’ indicates just what an excellent timekeeper and groove maker Wang is again as the horns move into Get the Blessing territory a bit. Pixel unite vocal and instrumental jazz in a winning formula. SG