Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Cover: Thore Hansen

In September 2008 I wrote a blog post on Norwegian illustrator (and author) Thore Hansen, and his record covers. I've found some other albums too now, and hope there are lots more. Please write a comment if you recognise his style and have some albums I don't know.
So far this is my list:

Per Husby Septett: «Peacemaker» (1976)
Various Artists: "Maiden Voyage" (Melodisc 2002)
Kiruna : "Irun" (Melodisc 2003)
Various Artists: "Aerien Voyage" (Melodisc 2004)
Various Artists: "Stellar Voyage"(Melodisc 2005).
Trygve Madsen: "Sketches from Norway" (Pro Musica 2005).
Various Artists: «Drunk In A Ditch - Tales From Rock Limbo 1969-1980» (Rhino/Warner) (2006).

And you might want to buy a book for your child too! Thore Hansen illustrated Tor Åge Bringsværds "Ruffen : the sea serpent who couldn't swim" (MacKenzie Smiles, 2008). Great book!

Changes 1 July: I had Popol Vuh: "Popol Vuh" (1972) on the list, but this one is illustrated by Bjørn Morisse. (W are not talking about the German band Popol Vuh here).

Monday, June 29, 2009

Some Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper links

Robert Wyatt e Christine Hopper
Originally uploaded by Prospettive Musicali

- Some time ago I read in the Swedish newspaper "Svenska Dagbladet" that they claimed that Richard Youngs makes music that starts where Robert Wyatt's "Rock Bottom" ends! Anybody out there who can understand that?
- Citizen Jazz on Orchestre National De Jazz's ”Around Robert Wyatt” concert and the book "Anthologie du projet MW". All of it in French.
- Visit YouTube for Carl Didurs' "Elegy for Hugh Hopper".

Thank's to Fabio for the picture.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Arve Henriksen's new album is called "Ellivan" (NORCD 2009). He has composed music to Norwegian poet Elling Vanberg's (1937-1993) lyrics, and Vanberg is reading them (archive material from norwegian radio). The musicians are Arve Henriksen (trumpet, voice), Anna Maria Friman (voice), Karl Seglem (goat horn, voice), Terje Isungset (drums, voice, ice) and Jan Bang (sampling) and the music is just beautiful, both when it stands alone and when it adds colour to the poet reading.

If you don't understand Norwegian (and this is in local dialect too, just to make it even more difficult), you don't have to worry about the words here, because they are not translated into English. His books are only in Norwegian too. But sometimes i put on an album with songs from Madagascar, and that sounds just fine to me, so why worry?
Cover photo: Oddleiv Apneseth.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Graham Coxon

I did it again. I bought an album the guys in the record store played on their stereo. These people know how to trick you. This time I got "The spinning top" by Graham Coxon. I'm a bit embarassed, but honest as I am I'll admit I thought this was some new guy who had managed to get Danny Thompson and Robyn Hitchock to guest on his album. Coxon of course has several solo albums in his discography already, and he's a member of Blur! No wonder I never win the pop quiz.
Anyway, this is a quite nice album! It's a bit of indie and a bit of folk, and I can smell Nick Drake in there and even Incredible String Band ("In the morning"). I'm not a big fan of rock lyrics, but people have told me that this is a kind of a concept album, telling the story of a man from birth (first track: "Look into the light") until death (last track: "November").
I see no reason to avoid this one (if you still have some money left). I'll even guess Robert Wyatt could cover "November".

Love Shack

Come on! It's Saturday, summer and the sun is warming even here in Norway. It's about time for some partying in this blog. Here you get B-52s happy (and maybe a bit desperate) party tune "Love Shack" (1989). If you want to go even higher on a day like this, check out the video mash of this tune and Britney Spears' "Toxic".

Friday, June 26, 2009

Top of the pops?

The Guardian asked a bunch of artists to name their favorite working band or musician ("So who is top of the pops"? 26 June 2009). Our man Robert Wyatt names sax man Gilad Atzmon, and seems impressed not only by Atzmon as a musician, but also by his integrity as a political human being.
You'll find several videos on YouTube from a concert Gilad Atzmon did earlier this month, if you want to see more.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ken Vandermark and Tim Daisy

Today a sax and drum duo for your pleasure, with Ken Vandermark and Tim Daisy (May 2008). These guys are both on "Resonance" (Not Two 2008), a record I plan to order. It's only available on vinyl (as far as I can see), but that is just fun isn't it?
We have already written about Vandermark's activities on the net, and you may also want to check out Tim Daisy's blog.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Believe it or not, but the summer heat hit Bergen today. I'll just recommend a straight Norwegian jazz trio for you, to cool down. Håvard Stubø (Jupiter!) (g), Daniel Franck (b) and Håkon Mjåset Johansen (dr) play 9 Wes Montgomery compositions on "Wes!" (Bolage 2008), and throw in Monk's "'Round Midnight" too (on Wes Montgomery's repertoire too of course).
I just think you'll agree with me, that this is a real fine album!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Even more Meltdown

And here is another recording of Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra on YouTube (with Robert Wyatt). It's the same song as in this blog post. Let's have some more reviews too:
"Cool head in a maeltsrom" from Financial Times 22. juni.
"Summer meltdown" from In League With Paton.

I somtimes wonder if I really should help spreading all those recordings from YouTube. The quality is often so bad, that it's not really fair towards the musicians, but we are fans of course, and we want it all! Most people who watch the videos will know this, and hopefully several will buy sound files, records, DVDs and visit concerts. This is at least a good or bad excuse for putting stuff on the net.
Believe me, I follow some rules here in Robert Wyatt and Stuff! I never link to sound files with music that may be bought through regular channels, and I never (at least I think so) show videos that are obviously taken from new material and easy to buy (even if Robert Wyatt is on them!). Let's just mention Recommended's Henry Cow box as an example.

So what do you think? Should I be even more careful, or am I a coward already?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Henriksen and Molvær

- Nordic Jazz Week Wraps Up (Wahington City Paper 19 June).
- "Territory of Two Norwegian Trumpeters" (NYT 18 June).
- "A Map of Sound" (Express Night Out 17 June).
- Video: Nils Petter Molvær plays "Sabkah" in an Oslo delicatessen (NRK Lydverket, published 25 May 2009).

"Do you mind if I sleep with Cat Stevens?"

Some reading material for you today, mostly on Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra at Meltdown, but also some shocking stories from Linda Lewis!
- "Charlie Haden is a survivor" (London Evening Standard 22 June).
- "Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, Bley, Wyatt" (MusicalCritisism.com 22 June).
- "Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra and The Bad Plus at the Royal Festival Hall, 20/06/09" (Mapsadaisical 22 June).
- "Singer Linda Lewis: The night I asked my boyfriend 'Do you mind if I sleep with Cat Stevens?" (MailOnline 20 June).

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra

Robert Wyatt singing "Tail of a Tornado" with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra and Carla Bley (Meltdown 20 June).


The fiirst time i ever heard Athana was at last month's Nattjazz in Bergen. Now I own their "L.E.D. Light Galaxies" (WAM 2009) too. The subtitle of the album is "Ambient Exhibitions vol.2", and is a follow up to "Ambient Exhibitions vol.1" (surprise!) that was written for an art installation at Jæren (south of Stavanger) in 2006.
The music gives me a soundtrack-feeling, but is quite insisting, and the description "ambient" is probably not meant to indicate that this is an ambient sound tapestry. I think this is a pretty good album, and played loud it will bring you out into space too, probably because the band tries to "imagine our planet from far away, in an electronic and futuristic way" (I've got the press material!).

Athana is: Alf Terje Hana, Helge Olav Øksendal, Torgeir Nes and Øyvind Grong, and they have got a long list of guests tto, among others are Sternklang (remixing), Anders Hana and Andrew D'Angelo.

I think I'll check out their discography later (taken from their own site):
Athana - L.E.D. Light Galaxies - Ambient:Exhibitions Vol. 2(2009)
Athana - Remixed 0508 (2008)
Athana - Corridor (2007)
Athana - The Ridgewell Connection (Single, 2006)
Athana - Ambient:Exhibitions Vol.1 (2006)
Athana - Dandy Lines and Nevergreens (2005).

Wyatt on stage

According to London Jazz Robert Wyatt sang two songs in Spanish with Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra at Meltdown yesterday. I'm waiting for more reports on blogs, Twitter (lots of people tweeted that they were going!), Flickr and YouTube, and hope it was a great experience for Wyatt to be on stage again!

Great pictures from the soundcheck over at Aworan-isms!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Jeff Carey

Originally uploaded by svennevenn

Lydgalleriet (The Sound Gallery) organized a concert yesterday with Jeff Carey. The concert was held in what is going to be the House of Literature in Bergen, and surrounded by C215s stencils we got one piece of music improvised live, and "Structural Unit II" and "Speaker Quartet II" on Lydgalleriet's great "stereo". Electronic music like this doesn't make you want to dance (well, what do I know), but it's fascinating, exciting and strange. A very nice performance for the few of us present.

PS: Is it possible to get some training in "How to speak about far out music"? Put me on the list.

Jono El Grande: Neodada

I've mentioned Jono El Grande's album "Neodada" (Rune 2009) in this blog before, and had planned to check it out. Now I have done that (got it at eMusic), and this is a party! It is great fun, with more than a hint of Frank Zappa, and some nice prog and Canterbury influences too. A record that made me smile, and Kim Hiorthøy's cover suits the music just fine.

Jono El Grande on MySpace, his home page and Twitter.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fred Frith and Mike Patton

I believe we all realise that London and Meltdown is the place to be right now! I sure hope that more videos from the concert with Fred Frith and Mike Patton will show up on YouTube. Pardon my ignorance, but who is that third guy?

And added later: A guy called Shlomo. Mapsadaisical reviewed the show, elegant as always.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wyatt at The School of Harmolodics

Meltdown is happening in London right now, curated by Ornette Coleman. Robert Wyatt is on with Charlie Haden 20 June, but took his time to visist The School of Harmolodics! Seems like Wyatt's having a good time!

Patti Smith and David Murray have been there too. Follow SchoolofHarmolodics's Channel.


As far as I'm able to understand, Robert Wyatt will choose the music for the radio program "Mixtuur op Klara" next week. Monday 22 June he will visit the studio himself!. More info over at Mixtuur!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sites to visit

It's been a while since I've pointed new readers to sites they should visit for news on Robert Wyatt and Canterbury artists. So here we go:
On "What's Rattlin'" you'll of course find nice words about Hugh Hopper these days.
On the Strongcomet forum they have news on films where they discuss Waytt ("Heartbeat Detector") and may spot Soft Machine with Frederic Boyle's lights ("Separation" by Jane Arden and Jack Bond ).
And "Un Discographie de Robert Wyatt" is still growing (now 611 albums).


Here's a jazz festival like blog post for you, with matejich1s videos from Ljubljana. On the program: Atomic with Fredrik Ljungkvist (saxophones), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Haaward Wiik (piano), Ingebrigt Haker Flaten (bass) and Paal Nilssen-Love (drums ) and Vandermark 5 with Ken Vandermark (tenor/baritone saxophone), Dave Rempis (alt/tenore saxophone), Fred Lonberg-Holm (violoncello), Kent Kessler (bass) and Tim Daisy (drums).
The 50th jazzfestival in Ljubljana begins 29 June.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


On Datarock's new album "Red" (2009), you'll find a great tune called "True Stories". You also get lots of points here (not the correct answer though *cough*) for the song titles in the lyrics. Listen and solve the quiz at Dtatarock's MySpace.

And if there still are people who have not seen David Byrne's "True Stories" (1986), lucky them, they better get going and see it.
Makes me smile just thinking about it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hugh Hopper benefit concert

I just want to spread the news about a Hugh Hopper benefit concert to be held in les Lilas (France) 27 June (Le Triton). Bands performing: Franglo Band, Soft Bounds and Polysoft.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Sigbjørn Apeland (harmonium), Øyvind Skarbø (drums) and Nils Økland (Hardanger Fiddle, violin) is ready with their "1982" on NORCD (2009). I've written about these three musician earlier in the blog (search them up), both in connection with jazz and contemporary music. The music is published by NORCD, but the name of the company may fool you, as you only get to choose between vinyl and files. I suggest you buy it anyway. You get five improvisations (I believe), all of them named after their lengths. In my humble opinion the best one is the longest one (17:38), where the music gets a chance to develop over longer time.
I found my LP in Bergen , but I guess you will get that even if you have to press "Order CD" at NORCD site too. Great record!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Hardanger Fiddle

As I walked the streets of Bergen today looking for street art, I came across this one with the Norwegian Hardanger Fiddle. The words explain where they play this fiddle in Norway. Not a fantastic piece of street art of course, but it made me think. What if this is a new trend. Street artists will transform the town to a grand scale Wikipedia, educting the people. Great idea? Maybe not, but I promise you more Hardanger fiddeling tomorrow.

Sonic Youth: The Eternal

I needed something to get my rock foot going, and shopped the new Sonic Youth album ("The Eternal). It worked! Sveral of the songs almost made me jump up and down and sing into an air microphone (I said "almost"), one of them being "Sacred Trickster" (see video). Sonic Youth is Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon, Lee Ranaldo, Steve Shelley and Mark Ibold. They carry a lot of routine, even if Shelley and Ibold have not reached 50 yet!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ultima 09

The Ultima Contemporary Music festival is happening in Oslo 9 - 19 September. Program (mostly in Norwegian) here. Lots of strange stuff happening of course, let me just mention an opera for Barbie dolls in the Cultural Church Jakob! We've already seen some of the artists/projects in Bergen, like InterInterInter and Michel Finnisy (Borealis 09) and The Emotion Organ (Lydgalleriet i.e. The Sound Gallery). Paris in the springtime, Oslo in the autumn?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Gjerstad and Nilssen-Love

Frode Gjerstad and Paal Nilssen-Love are touring as a duo these days, and will end up at Cementen in Stavanger this Sunday. Later this year I will hear Gjerstad with Han Bennink in Molde, so let's just see Frode Gjerstad Trio, with the two named gentlemen Gjerstad/Nilssen-Love and Nick Stephens (a gentleman too I guess) on bass, recorded in London December 2008.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Hugh Hopper

You may read a Hugh Hopper obituary in The Guardian today.
The video show Soft Machine from 1971 with Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper, Mike Ratledge and Elton Dean.

Ornette Coleman's Meltdown

The Guardian do a Best of Ornette Coleman, to prepare for the Meltdown festival. Several artists were interviewed (only in the paper version?) too, among them our man Robert Wyatt. On Ornette Coleman's soloing Wyatt says: "His soloing is very conversational and it made his music very human, very accessible". He's met Coleman before (1968): "He was wonderfully courteous and hospitable; I remember shaking with excitement on the way to his apartment. To us atheists, these are the true gods!".

ONJ and "Around Robert Wyatt"

Here is another presentation in French on Orchestre National De Jazz and "Around Robert Wyatt".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Some news the short way

-Thomas Dolby namedrops Robert Wyatt in The Quietus.
- The Green Pajamas: "Poison in the Russian Room". "More importantly and wonderfully evoked is the genius of Robert Wyatt. It’s his solo career that gets referenced here, where beauty and oddity come together. There are languid, flowing and ultimately peaceful moments on Poison in the Russian Room that the Green Pajamas have visited before but never so expertly captured. Like Wyatt, they use not only the history of its own beloved rock music but delve into jazzy interludes laced with cultures from around the world". Read more at PopMatters.
- Glenn Max from London’s Southbank Centre (Meltdown organizer) interviewed in FT.com. He has shared a sofa with Wyatt!
- The Guardian: John Cale represents Wales at the Biennale in Venice.
- Maja Ratkje made music for an opera called "Korall Koral", for children 0-3 years old.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hugh Hopper dies

Then it's time to say thanks and goodbye to one of the original Canterbury heroes (see Jazzwise). Hugh Hopper died yesterday. Hopper cooperated with Robert Wyatt in several settings, from the early days with Daevid Allen Trio and Wilde Flowers, and later in Soft Machine and on solo albums too. Sad news indeed.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunn o))): "Monoliths and Dimensions"

Originally uploaded by svennevenn

Stephen O'Malley and Greg Anderson in sunn O))) have gathered a bunch of people (among them Julian Priester!) to make a dark, disturbing and beautiful "Monoliths and Dimensions" (Southern Lord, 2009). I sometimes have a bit of trouble with growling metal vocals, but OK, if that's the way it has to be, I'm fine.
Read a more professional review over at Pitchfork.

"Maximume volume yields maximum results".

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Ken Vandermark communicates

Great artists communicate through their art, but it's so good when they also do so on the web. Ken Vandermark must be one of the best (in both areas), and is sharing both professional and personal thoughts on the net. Follow him on his own site, on Twitter and please read this diary on Myspace! Eh, and buy some of his records too.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Molde International Jazz Festival 2009

Just a few hours after I fetched my tickets for the Molde festival, I see that the crazy organizers have come up with another bunch of "must see" artists. So far I have tickets to Arve Henriksen in different settings (Supersilent, Trio Mediaeval, Wallumrød), Atomic, Maja Ratkje, Mary Halvorson and Low Frequency in Stereo with Kjetil Møster. Then they come along with Crimetime Orchestra, Ipa, Han Bennink & Frode Gjerstad and Ingebrikt Håker Flaten & Håkon Kornstad, and more! The 2009 program is great, if you ask me.
And Moldejazz don't go easy on their visitors. This year Arve Henriksen will play a concert at 07:00 in the morning (outdoors), as Karin Krog did last year.

Maps and tourist info here.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Robert Wyatt box set

Robert Wyatt
Originally uploaded by SputnikTV

NME (and several others) got news today about a Robert Wyatt box set, containing all studio albums and "EPs" (Domino). Do we hope for extra material, so we just have to buy the albums once more? Yes! This is in the box:

'Rock Bottom' (1974)
'Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard' (1975)
'Nothing Can Stop Us' (1981)
'Old Rottenhat' (1985)
'Dondestan Revisited' (1991/1998)
'Shleep' (1997)
'EPS' (1998)
'Cuckooland' (2003)
'Robert Wyatt & friends, Theatre Royal Drury Lane 8th September 1974' (2005)
'Comicopera' (2007)

Oh, here is Domino's info. Looks like no extra material, but a nice box with new illustrations by Alfie. 60 GBP + postage (and taxes in some countries!).

Numusic 2009

Start checking Numusic's new website, if you're thinking about visiting Stavanger 9 -13 September. Some great artists have been announced so far: Arvo Pärt, Faust, Fennesz, Biosphere, Shining and there are more to come. They focus on street art too, but no news on that so far.
Stavanger in the autumn? These are probably the best days then.

New Riders Of The Purple Sage

I've been listening a lot to the new sunn O))) album lately, but found it hard to write about it, and realized I needed a country break. So instead of the growling noise of sunn O))), you get "New Riders Of The Purple Sage's" self titled album from 1971 (Wikipedia on the band). This is the only album I have with the band, but I have played it a lot! It's perfect for any Grateful Dead fan (and almost everybody else, as long as they're able to swallow their country).
The music is made by guitar player and vocalist John Dawson, and the other guys are David Nelson (g, voc) and Dave Torbert (b, g, voc). On the album you'll also hear Jerry Garcia (who might be a real band member?), Spencer Dryden, Micky Hart and Commander Cody, and if you have to Google these guys, you're probably young (OK, check your year of birth, just to be sure).
And the album's on Spotify too! Nice?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

JazzNorway in a Nutshell 2009

Now you may read John Kelman's story from Nattjazz and "JazzNorway in a Nutshell 2009" in AllAboutJazz. Pity none of them seem to have recorded Kjetil Møster's solo performance from the buffet and put it on YouTube!

As if this was not enough, see also Peter Margasak's "Norwegian Jazz Report" from a Chicago Reader blog.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


One of the bands i missed at the Nattjazz festival was GammalGrass (I just heard their sound check for an OiOi performance) ("Gammal" = Old). This is a trio with Stian Carstensen of Farmers Market fame (banjo, accordion), Ola Kvernberg (fiddle) and Andreas Amundsen (bass). They seem to play a hot mix of country, bluegrass, folk and rock covers. Check out their MySpace site and see the videos there. You'll find a pretty strange cover of Green Days' "Basket Case" and the hysterical "archive material" shown in this blog post. This is supposedly recorded on the west coast of Norway in 1967, but the musicians look quite familiar I think (Kvernberg and Carstensen). Each man his own rhythm!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Gong and Steve Hillage

Trondheim and Oslo are visited by Gong (with Steve Hillage?) and Steve Hillage Band in a couple of weeks.

We cut and paste from Planetgong:

12 Jun - Norway, Trondheim, Blaest - GONG + STEVE HILLAGE BAND
13 Jun - Norway, Oslo, Rockefeller - GONG + STEVE HILLAGE BAND

"What is it with Gong and Norway - something to do with gnomes? Who cares we love it - the Scotland of Scandinavia".

The Core & More vol. 1

The Core's new album "The Art Of No Return" (Miserobie 2009) has been out here for a month or so. The Core is Espen Aalberg (dr), Erlend Slettevold (p), Steinar Raknes (b) and Jørgen Mathisen (sax), but here they have Magnus Broo (tp), Jonas Kullhammar (sax) and Vidar Johansen (sax, bass clar) guesting too.
The music is composed by Vidar Johansen, and for long periods this is stricter composed, and even more relaxed than the first energetic albums from this band. The first albums had a Coltrane feel, this one's perhaps more Miles (?), and it swings real good too when necessary. I seldom play a new album 3 or 4 times in one go, but that happened with this one. Just buy it.