Petter Wettre

The Mystery Unfolds

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Recorded in a Lommedalen, Norway, studio over three days, The Mystery Unfolds is a 360-degree shot around saxophonist Petter Wettre. A highly skilled jazz musician and a witty composer, the man stretches his legs from free jazz to funk with the odd stop at the bop ballad station. His trio mates are bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Jarle Vespestad, but for the opening number, "Continuous Flux," he calls in Trygve Seim, Jørgen Munkeby, and Mahatma Bubb to add soprano sax, flute, and shenai (respectively). The track is a fast-paced avant-garde jazz number, a groovy but highly syncopated motif of the kind Jean Derome writes so well (the two men share a similar sense of humor, too), wild and fun, and featuring Wettre's agile bass clarinet playing. In "Ornette or Not," the trio goes for furious "traditional" free jazz. "Fools of the Trade" swings on a 9/4 vamp topped by a melody that would have Thelonious Monk nod in appreciation. For "Area 51," Flaten trades the double bass for the electric bass guitar -- with wah-wah pedal, please. This sexually explicit jazz-funk brings in a very different color, but it is not the off-course track one might fear; on the contrary, it fits the mood of the album very well. Clocking in at 44 minutes, The Mystery Unfolds packs a lot of creative fun and comes highly recommended.

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