Bjørnar Andresen

Egne Hoder

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This album contains sessions recorded in early 1999, a few months before pianist Svein Finnerud passed away. It features two generations of Norwegian jazz musicians with bassist Bjørnar Andresen acting as the bridge between Finnerud and young drummer extraordinaire Paal Nilssen-Love. The bassist is featured in duets with both, plus a trio piece. The Andresen/Finnerud cut, "Den Andre," offers a reflection on the state of jazz, as it is strongly rooted in tradition yet stretches far into the left field of improvisation. For a man used to playing with a younger, more cross-stylistic bassist (Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, with both jazz and rock backgrounds), Nilssen-Love does a nice job moving around the slightly more conservative Andresen. Their 27-minute duet, "Den Fjerde," suffers from a couple of passages low on inspiration, but the drummer keeps things interesting thanks to a highly unorthodox approach to the drum set and a stick touch as light and fast as a hummingbird. Andresen tiptoes around a Spanish theme, developing nice variations, but the two players rarely connect, as if they were playing in isolated booths. The trio track is more satisfying, Andresen's instrument having a fat yet sharp sound (amplified?) that cuts through like whips of thunder. Egne Hoder is an uneven disc, but satisfying overall.

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