9 new releases from the 2020 programme
Charles Lloyd is making his return after 54 years, four more concerts with our Artist in Residence, John Zorn, and for all who share our fondness for musical monologues, there'll be another chance to catch the critically acclaimed performance of Driving Miles.
It's a big event when Charles Lloyd returns to Moldejazz 54 years after he first performed at the festival in 1966. In addition to the four previously released John Zorn concerts, we are now adding «Midsummer Moons» and «The Hermetic Organ» to the list, where both concerts will be performed in evocative Molde Cathedral. Concerts «The Hierophant» and «Simulacrum» will be performed in Storyville, located on the top floor at Plassen.
The 60th festival is also presenting a long-awaited reunion with the musical monologue Driving Miles, this time set up in our venue Kikkans Hall. Here you'll also find the mini-big band, The Hot White Chocolates, who's to play with their authentic orchestral jazz set in the 1920s.
Pianist, Espen Berg, are coming back to Plassen and our venue Storyville with his critically acclaimed trio, and everything's set for a hearty reunion with D'Sound on the Spareban1 stage in Alexandra Park.
The saxophone legend returns.
The story of saxophone legend, Charles Lloyd, is almost too good to be true. His big break came with a quartet that had young Keith Jarrett and Jack DeJohnette among its members.
On his victory tour around the world, this quartet visited Moldejazz in the first decade of the festival, more specifically in 1966! The live album Forest Flower from the Monterey Jazz Festival became an instant classic and has been described as the jazz soundtrack to the flower-power movement.
In other words, Lloyd had a breakthrough far beyond the jazz community. He collaborated early on with blues masters like Muddy Waters, and later with the Beach Boys and The Band. After a few years at the top, it was a stop and he completely withdrew from the limelight.
It was two decades of silence, in a self-elected exile in Big Sur, before the unique pianist, Michel Petrucciani, brought him back and revived his career. After that, things have snowballed, and Lloyd's musical journey has never stopped taking exciting new turns.
– The deeper I dive into the sea of sound, the more I am reminded that I must constantly dive deeper, he said in a recent interview.
The fact that Lloyd is one of jazz's greatest living stars is indisputable, but the most central is what Lloyd's music does to its listeners. His unique presence and warm and passionate musicality always reach far into the soul of the one who's so lucky to be listening.
For Lloyd, all rooms where music is played are sacred rooms, whether it is a small basement club, a church or a concert hall.
Charles Lloyd – saxophone, Merwin Sewell – guitar, Reuben Rogers – bass, Eric Harland – drums.
For Ellington – and most jazz composers in general, Zorn's compositions give the musicians who perform them space for their own expression.
Two amazing guitarists perform Zorn in Molde Cathedral.
«Midsummer Moons» is a study of sonic contrasts, between Julian Lage's steel strings and Gyan Riley's nylon strings. With their jazz and classical backgrounds respectively, they form exciting counterparts as they perform and improvise on Zorn's playful themes and chord progressions.
Acoustic Guitar magazine is impressed with both music and performance and states that this is strikingly beautiful music, brilliantly performed by two of today's foremost young guitarists. It is both accessible and deeply satisfying and can be highly recommended for anyone with a sense of acoustic guitar. Neu Guitars concludes that the album is an astonishing record, with highly inspired compositions performed masterfully.
In the open acoustic space under the cathedral's high ceiling, everything's set for a concert experience where the sounds of two master guitarists and Zorn's compositions will captivate its audience.
Julian Lage – guitar, Gyan Riley – guitar.
In Similacrum super organist, John Medeski, meets guitarist, Matt Hollenberg, who's often to find in the death metal band Cleric, and drummer Kenny Grohowski, of i.a. Abraxis.
John Zorn showing his take on rock.
«White hot burning intensity from the mind of downtown NY's eternally youthful hell-raiser John Zorn performed by a trio forges from the worlds of jazz and metal,» writes Ars Nova about this project. The group takes John Zorn's music through a musical landscape that could have seemed dystopian if it hadn't been for its fun and playfulness.
Many will probably hear echoes from Keith Emerson and King Crimson, from Tony Williams Lifetime and The Mahavishnu Orchestra, put together in a new and exciting way. Reports from past concerts say that the band's almost exploding, taking off in a way that «threatens to break loose from gravity and send the audience skywards,» as stated in a review from a concert in Philadelphia.
Organ jazz has always had a large audience at Moldejazz and this concert takes the concept a step further. This is music you'll feel in your stomach and hardly get the chance to hear anywhere else in Norway for a while. Get ready for tight and sweaty! This is not the concert to sit neatly on your chair – stand shoulder to shoulder with others on the floor of Storyville, but fear not – a small section of chairs will be set up for maturer fans of this group.
John Medeski – organ, Matt Hollenberg – guitar and Kenny Grohowski – drums.
An array of expressions, emotions and references from the mysterious Tarot world make the foundation of Zorn's compositions for a dazzling piano trio.
Zorn's tarot-inspired music for the piano trio.
In the Tarot world, the hierophant is the bridge between heaven and earth. Zorn's musical version of this world is performed by a spectacular piano trio from New York's creative downtown scene. Pianist, Brian Marsella, is a powerhouse of energy and control, bass player, Trevor Dunn, has backgrounds from e.g. Mr Bungle, Tomahawk and several Zorn projects, while we know drummer, Kenny Wollesen, from various Zorn bands, but also from Sex Mob and from collaborations with people like Bill Frisell and Tom Waits. In recent years the trio has made a name for themselves in the US and on the continent through several albums and concerts. However, this has gone a bit under the radar in Norway.
The band interprets Zorn's suite through various expressions from introspective elegance to breathtaking excursions. Beautiful, engaging, virtuosic and varied music with nine compositions, each representing their card in the deck. The critics describe Zorn's theme as brilliant, writing that the three musicians help further enhance each other's qualities. Naked and acoustic music for the piano trio that alternates between the intricate and the simple.
Brian Marsella – piano, Trevor Dunn – bass, Kenny Wollesen – drums.
In The Hermetic Organ, the audience gets to experience a side of John Zorn's diverse musical universe that may surprise many.
Artist in residence, John Zorn, performing a solo concert on a church organ and alto sax.
Zorn performs a solo concert in Molde Cathedral, where he plays the majestic church organ, in addition to his usual instrument, alto sax.
Although Zorn's music often can be intense and challenging, this work is described as breathtakingly beautiful and is characterized by the spiritual mood, colours and contrasts that a church organ provides. We are presented to composer Zorn's dramatic endeavour through large sonic surfaces, harmonic subtleties, clusters and counterpoints, drones and ostinatos as well as beautiful melodies – sometimes all at the same time.
Zorn began playing the organ as a child, and in the 1960s he became increasingly fascinated by the instrument. In connection with an organ concert he performed in St Paul's Hall at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, he stated that he thought, «there was something almost psychedelic about the church organ, a sound outside this world that inspires imagination and imagination, magic and mysticism».
This will be an event for the books and everything's lined up to make this a powerful and unconventional concert when John Zorn takes a seat at the organ in Molde Cathedral.
Neosoul band D'sound has since its inception in 1993 carved its very own shelf in the Norwegian music mountain.
A driving and easy-going, breathing rhythmic organism.
They have sworn fans in every town and city in Norway, and their rock-solid expression has survived two and a half decades of changing musical fashions.
Drummer, Kim Ofstad, and bass player, Jonny Sjo, met when they both studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston. After playing together for more than 26 years, it's easy to get the impression of the two as a unit – a driving and easy-going, breathing rhythmic organism.
The band came into being almost by chance after the two met singer, Simone Eriksrud. Their debut album Spice of Life was released in 1997 and featured the hit single «Real name», gaining the group two Spelleman nominations (Norwegian Grammy's). The trio's elegant mix of jazz, pop and funk was received with open arms by the Norwegian audience
The summer of 2018, marked a major shift in the band's history when vocalist and songwriter, Simone Eriksrud, decided to leave the band. She passed on the microphone to 27-year-old Mirjam Omdal. The first D'sound single starring Omdal, «Just me», was released shortly after and was given a lot of playing time on the radio.
D'Sound has been regarded as one of Norway's best live bands since their inception. This is something that not only fans in Norway have experienced, but also concert audiences in Japan, England, Sweden, the Philippines, Denmark and Germany.
In 2017, Espen Berg made a big fuzz at our venue, Teatret Vårt, when he together with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra performed his Sparebank 1 JazZtipendiat-work «Maetrix».
A critically acclaimed piano trio of the highest class!
His captivating and rhythmic work in 2017 ago did, according to rumours, not only excite the audience and reviewers, but also the legend, Pat Metheny, who saw parts of the concert.
When Espen Berg returns to the festival, it is with his own trio, who's experienced a significant breakthrough in recent years – first in Japan and later followed by Europe. In 2016, they were highlighted as «the biggest and most important new discovery» by Jazz Japan magazine.
Besides the pianist and composer Berg, the trio consists of bass player Bárður Reinert Poulsen from the Faroe Islands, and the talented drummer Simon Olderskog Albertsen. Espen Berg's melodic yet very rhythmically complex music forms the basis of the trio's dynamic, spontaneous and temperamental interaction.
The trio released their third album Free To Play earlier this year to overjoyed reviews in Downbeat, BBC Magazine and a multitude of other significant publications. The British Jazz Journal wrote in their review, «EBT are rapidly becoming an important new voice in a crowded field of post-E.S.T. trios, and while their two preceding albums have much to recommend them, on Free To Play the trio have really hit their creative stride.»
This is simply a very engaging trio, where their interaction really shines through!
Espen Berg – piano, Bárður Reinert Poulsen – bass, Simon Olderskog Albertsen – drums.
This Oslo-based mini-band, with members from our local area such as Ingrid Sæbø on sax and Øyvind Engen on sousaphone, will surely feel like they've returned home when they present their 1920s jazz at Kikkans Hall on Friday 17 July.
Big band with catchy 1920s dance jazz.
The band recreates the orchestral jazz from the 1920s absolutely impeccable, this is music for both the ears and the heart – and makes us want to put on our dancing shoes! 15 musicians, including 5 vocalists, show that the music that originated about a decade ago still has appeal.
The Hot White Chocolates has done several concerts in recent years – all to an excited audience at jazz clubs, Gamle Logen (historic venue in Oslo) and at the annual Gatsby Ball alike.
Although the audience in Kikkans Hall doesn't wear white lime gowns, feather boas or swing skirts from the Gatsby era, it's perfectly acceptable to get carried away by The Hot White Chocolates cheerful and merry tunes. This evening will be a truly unique experience, so be sure to put on the right footwear. Welcome to a unique journey in time!
Erlend Bronken – orchestra leader/trumpet/vocals, Siw Bjerkerud Fafalios – trumpet, Audun Øksendal – trombone, Ingrid Sæbø – tenor sax/clarinet, Ellen Østbye Hansen – alto sax/clarinet, Morten Michelsen – alto sax/clarinet, Mauritz Aas – banjo, Gisle Aschim – piano, Øyvind Engen – sousaphone, Håvard Halvorsen Dahl – drums/percussion.
Cathrine Rysst, Bent Kvalvik, Amanda Elizabeth Roberts, Line Altern, Birgitte Rodum – vocals.
Moldejazz's 60th festival contains several small anniversaries. One of them is the 10th anniversary of Henning Mankell's musical monologue, based on the friendship between Moldejazz volunteer driver, Svein Åge Johansen, and the legend Miles Davis.
Long-awaited re-enactment of Henning Mankell's musical monologue.
The play was originally a gift from Teatret Vårt to Moldejazz marking the festival's 50th anniversary back in 2010. Since then, the play's been listed in many places in Europe, in addition to the performances at Moldejazz in 2015 and 2016. It is therefore quite natural and in line with many people's wishes that the piece is now being reassembled.
His band arrived on Wednesday, on the day before the concert, but Miles himself would stay an extra day in Paris. The French capital was his favourite city ever since he'd played at the jazz festival there in May 1949.
Early Thursday morning, the festival received a call from Paris – Davis was not on the plane to Norway, he had gotten food poisoning and would not get to Molde in time for the concert. Miles Davis had not played a concert for several years. The rumours spread. He was back, although with a new band and new music he was still a man who set the agenda. He had not visited Norway since 1971 and with his upcoming concert in Molde, he'd turned Jazz-Norway upside down.
The volunteers from Moldejazz had printed stickers where it simply said «MILES TO MOLDE», and stuck them up on walls, windows and doors all over the country. The 1500 seats in the Idrettens Hus (local sports centre) had sold out months before the festival. Lots of people had arrived in the city during Wednesday and Thursday, their only errand was to hear Miles. In a jazz context, this was an event in line with the Olympic Games held in Lillehammer 10 years later.
As most people know, things went well. Miles came, played – with a six hours delay – and won. The 1500 spectators who left Idrettens Hus in the morning after the concert, while the birds started their concert, felt that they had been a part of a truly historic session.
When Davis landed at Årø Airport in Molde an hour before midnight, he was first handed a bouquet of roses before being interviewed by Dagsrevyen (Norwegian evening news) reporter, Ragnar Auglænd. Then the festival's transport manager, Svein Åge Johansen, and his white Cadillac took over. Johansen's dubbed the car «Icebreaker» as it tends to take the edge of tired musicians when they get into it. Davis' interest in cars was well known. He climbed into the front seat next to Johansen, unlike other musicians Icebreaker had had the pleasure of transport over the years – all of whom chose to sit in the backseat.
It's quiet for a while, while Miles takes in the scenery on his trip to downtown Molde. After a bit – pointing to an almost glass-like Moldefjord in the light summer night, he asks, «Is that all ice?». Svein Åge explains that he is not that far north. That seemingly gets Miles going, as his next question is, «Do you like my music?». Svein Åge is brought up with people and rock and has little knowledge of modern jazz. However, he's also an honest man so he answers, «Nope» and immediately remembers that in this particular case it might have been wise to tell a white lie, as he had heard of Miles's temper. Surprisingly Miles laughs loudly, pats Svein Åge on the shoulder, and says, «Let’s be friends». This was the beginning of a special friendship between driver Johansen from Molde and jazz musician Davis from New York.
The story of this relationship forms the backdrop for the theatre production Driving Miles, written for the regional theatre in Møre and Romsdal county, Teatret Vårt, by the well-known Swedish author, Henning Mankell. The play is performed by three musicians and one actor, and, in addition to the story of the two main characters, also includes Miles-related music.
Based on both Miles Davis's legendary concerts at Moldejazz in 1984 and 1985, and the fact that the Driving Miles-piece has become an important part of the festival's recent history over the past ten years, it's only natural that this performance is also labelled a «Legacy Concert».
The play is written by Henning Mankell.
Per Egil Aske – actor, Ole Jørn Myklebust – trumpet, Jørn Øien – piano, Sigurd Hole – bass.