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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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Sunset Sunrise




Sunset Sunrise
Birch Song [8:08]
Derrick [7:52]
Stanley Park [10:43]
Silverspring [6:28]
Steelpants [6:02]
The Fluke, A Whale's Tail [7:12]
Sunset Sunrise [10:55]
December Song [7:56]

Morten Qvenild (hyper grand piano, electronics), Roger Arntzen (double bass, electronics), Pål Hausken (drums, percussion, vibraphone, electronics)
Music written by Morten Qvenild
rec. at Sunset Sound, Los Angeles, California, USA on May 26 & 27, 2012. [65:16]


Having appeared on over 30 discs Morten Qvenild is well known in his native Norway but less so in the wider world and I'm not so sure the present release will change that. He formed the trio In The Country with fellow students from the Norwegian Academy of Music, bassist Roger Arntzen and drummer Pål Hausken in 2003 and has won a couple of awards. My problem with the disc is that there is too little variety for my tastes and I've found the same problem before where, as here, there is a whole disc of gentle, slow tunes that, while nice enough are just not enough to satisfy for a whole session. What is needed is some contrast, something more frenetic to get the pulse racing a little in between. The very opening notes of the first track had me thinking I'm going to enjoy this but, unfortunately that feeling wore off and I found myself dying for something to fire up my adrenaline but, sadly, it never came. Sometimes there is also something to be said for mixing in a few standards rather than offering whole discs of originals and I felt this was a case in point. It is frustrating since the musicians are all clearly excellent and deserve recognition. Looking back over previous reviews of jazz trios (recent examples that I very much enjoyed being Vijay Iyer and Bobo Stenson) the message seems a clear one; that a mix of styles is important as well as a mix of composers and that unless there is variety the discs seems stale so I hope that the next disc from this trio will reflect this.

Steve Arloff

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