Various Artists – Northern Edition


northern edition(Edition Records)

Among the many fine musicians on the independent British record label’s roster are quite a few from Scandinavia. BBC Radio 3 broadcaster Fiona Talkington is a particular fan of music from the northern countries and has curated this uniformly excellent collection which goes a long way towards showing the wide range of jazz music being created there.

We get cinematic, rock noir from Finland’s Oddarrang, exuberant saxophonics from Norway’s Marius Neset, elastic three-way virtuosity form the Anglo-Scandinavian trio Phronesis, atmospheric beauty from the multi-tracked tubas of Norwegian Daniel Herskedal, and some characterful piano playing from Finn Alexi Tuomarila, both under his own name and in the band Drifter.

Talkington quite rightly allocates a generous chunk of digital space to Edition label boss, pianist Dave Stapleton, and his North Wind band which includes Neset and Finnish drummer Olavi Louhivouri, as well as a string quartet. There is also a lovely track from one of Edition’s newest releases, Norwegian drummer Per Oddvar Johansen’s Let’s Dance, out this month.

It’s all too easy – and lazy – to characterise Scandinavian jazz as cool and dark, and this compilation, despite resorting to type for its cover pic, really does blow that cliché out of the water.

An ideal place to start if you want a quick musical guided tour.

Categories: CD review

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