Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Around Robert Wyatt - concert

Orchestre National De Jazz is doing a Paris concert October 26th. Robert Wyatt is there too!
And "Around Robert Wyatt" is still recommended.

Added October 12th: Please see comment on Robert not participating. Sorry if I misunderstood something on the French site here!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Maja Ratkje and Susanna at Henie Onstad

More from the Henie Onstad Art Centre! They have uploaded videos from the concerts with Maja S.K. Ratkje and Susanna (27th September). Ratkje performs solo, Susanna is Susanna Wallumrød, Helge Sten and Pål Hausken.

Gunhild Seim

From time to time we have some discussion on why there are so few female instrumentalists in Norwegian jazz. We have lots of great female vocalists and male instrumentalists, and don´t ask me why. Even so, I have missed Gunhild Seim, until I visited Free Jazz. Now I am the proud owner of the albums Gunhild Seim "Time Jungle" (2007) and Gunhild Seim & Time Jungle "Morpho" (2009) on Drollehålå Records (try to pronounce that!).
The musicians on "Morpho" are Gunhild Seim (trumpet), Arild Hoem (alto saxophone), John Lilja (bass) and Dag Magnus Narvesen (drums), with Odd Børge Sagland on marimba and percussion. On "Time Jungle" Seim, Lilja and Narvesen are joined by Allan Viger (guitar) and Andrew d’Angelo (alto saxophone and bass clarinet).
People seem to call it chamber jazz, but I like it. Seim says in the Norwegian magazine Ballade, that she is inspired by (among others) Ornette Coleman and Don Cherry. I love these albums, you buy "Morpho" if you settle for one of them.
Both albums may be bought on iTunes and eMusic.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Henie Onstad

Bergen is a good place to be, but Oslo has got nicer weather and the Henie Onstad Art Centre. They have a great concert program at the art centre, and even put their own stuff on YouTube. Way to go!
Here you get a taste of Sidsel Endresen and Noxagt (John Hegre: guitar, Kjetil D Brandsdal: bass and Jan Christian Lauritzen: drums).

Smiling and waving

I was not aware of this release until this afternoon, but a version of Anja Garbarek´s "Smiling and waving" from 2001 was released on white vinyl (180 g) last year (Holland ToneFloat 2008). You also get a 7" with "I Won't Hurt You" and "Blinking Blocks Of Light". "The Diver" with Robert Wyatt singing is on the LP of course, and also the original version of "Stay Tuned", that Wyatt covered on "Comicopera". Only 500 copies made. (The picture is from CrazyDiamond).
Visit Anja Garbarek here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Moonlight is X-raying the Earth

Mark Corcoran´s "Moonlight Is X-raying The Earth" was supposed to be released in the end of July. Have any of you seen or heard this album, with a cover of Robert Wyatt´s "Sea Song"?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Albatrosh with Grenager and Tafjord

The award winning Norwegian piano and saxophone duo Albatrosh is Andre Roligheten (saxophone) and Eyolf Dale (piano). You should check out their album "Seagull island" (Inner Ear 2009). These days they are touring Norway with Hild Sofie Tafjord (horn) and Lene Grenager (cello), and I was lucky to catch them at a free (!) concert at Bergen Jazz Forum Thursday evening. Magnificent as a duo, and even better when all four of them started improvising. I wouldn´t mind a recording of this band.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Svarte Greiner

This weekend (Thursday - Saturday) it is Ekkofest in Bergen. Even so, yesterday I chose to see Albatrosh (at the Bergen Jazzforum, blog post later) instead of Svarte Greiner (Erik Skodvin) at Ekkofest. Sometimes you just have to choose! Here you have Svarte Greiner and Deaf Center (Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland) live in Moscow, May 2009.

Antony and Yoko

Antony Hegarty & Yoko Ono- "I'm Going Away Smiling" at this year´s Meltdown in London. See Pitchfork for more.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Håkon Kornstad: "Dwell time"

Håkon Kornstad: tenor and bass saxophones, flute, fluteonette and live electronics. "Dwell Time" (Jazzland 2009) is Kornstad´s second solo album. It was recorded in Oslo´s Sofienberg Church, the music was improvised there, and hardly edited afterwards. In the cover Kornstad says he wanted to dwell in one mood, instead of showing a lot of variety, like on the previous solo album "Single Engine" (Jazzland 2007). I like both albums, and the new tune "Oslo" is almost as beautiful as "Sweden" from "Single Engine". You may still listen to the album here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Radka Toneff

I was looking for some Archie Shepp videos yesterday, and found by chance some new YouTube material with the late Norwegian singer Radka Toneff. The first one is Shepp´s "Rest Enough" with Jon Balke (piano), Jon Eberson (guitar), Arild Andersen (bass) and Espen Rud (drums) (1977).
Then comes "Set it free" by Kenny Loggins with Steve Dobrogosz (piano), Arild Andersen (bass) and Alex Riel (drums) (1981).
The guy who uploaded these has got some other good material too.

Wyatt & Jazz

Over at De Wissel you may listen toWyatt & Jazz, where they focus on the more jazzy sides of Robert Wyatt. The presentation is in Dutch, but that´s OK, or what? If you follow the link above, you will find a list of tunes played too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gold Badge Awards and book

Just some weeks after he was celebrated in Belgium, Robert Wyatt will get one of the Gold Badge Awards -by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors - for his contribution to music. Read more at Virgin Media.

An Italian book is also published, and as far as I can understand it contains interviews with Robert Wyatt. You may buy it for Euro 12.50. More information at, and here are the details:
Titolo: Robert Wyatt. Dalla viva voce
Editore: Auditorium (collana Rumori)
Data di Pubblicazione: 2009
ISBN: 9788886784511
Dettagli: p. 128

Jeanette Lindström

Swedish artist Jeanette Lindström cooperated with Robert Wyatt for her new album "Attitude & Orbit Control". The record is released October 21st, and Wyatt has co-written several songs with Lindström. He is participating on five tracks on the album.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Robert Wyatt Doctor Honoris Causa

Robert Wyatt, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, Arvo Pärt, Dick Annegarn, Frederic Rzewski and the late Henri Posseur received the insignia of Doctor Honoris Causa at the University of Liège (Belgium) 17 September 2009.

Picture #1: Robert Wyatt, Dick Annegarn, Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp.
Picture #2: Robert Cailliau, Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Wyatt.
Picture #3: Dick Annegarn, Robert Wyatt and Anthony Braxton.
Picture #4: Front: R.Wyatt A Braxton, Frederic Rzewski, representative of the late Henri Pousseur.
Back R.Cailliau, T Berners-Lee, Dick Annegarn, Archie Shepp, Arvo Pärt, The Recteur of the University of Liège University of Liège
Picture # 5: Arvo Pärt having a nice cup of tea.

All pictures by Alfreda Benge. Lots of thanks!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Susanna and The Magical Orchestra live

Susanna Karolina Wallumrød and Morten Qvenild gave a concert in front of a packed venue at Bergen Jazzforum Saturday evening. Thank God, the room was without a bar (strange thing to say, I know) and the place was filled up with people who wanted to listen (not talk).
The orchestra played lots from the new album called "3", but also old classics like "Love will tear us apart" and "Jolene" . When they played my favorite "Hello", it was almost too much beauty in one room.

Nice music, great audience, hot and dark (and impossible too take good pictures) and the musicians were quite charming and friendly. A great Saturday evening I´d say.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Any news on Dr. Wyatt?

I have been looking for news on the appointment of Robert Wyatt (and other fine musicians and composers) Docteur Honoris Causa at l'Université de Liège on 17 September, but have found nothing (previous blog post). How about you? Seen some pictures, videos or read something? I don´t even know if the candidates were present at all.

Music for gardening

Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje og Lasse Marhaug have released an album to inspire people to do some gardening. On "Music for gardening" (Pica Disk 2009), you get voice and electronics, and lots of the things you´ll find in the garden, like cats complaining ("Complaints won´t help"), dogs barking ("Call in the dogs") and birds singing ("Like a prayer"). Lots of fun, but I won´t work in the garden (until I have to).
The album cover is great, with illustrations by Si Clark.

"Music for gardening" is number four in a row of albums meant to describe or inspire certain activities: Gardening, faking, loving and shopping. On the back cover of the shopping album you will see they have been doing some serious research too.

"Music for faking" (C3R 2004)
"Music for loving" (Bottrop-boy 2004)
"Music for shopping" (LP limited to 300, Synesthetic 2003).

Friday, September 18, 2009

Peter Blegvad Trio

Peter Blegvad Trio w/ Dagmar Krause, John Greaves, Chris Cutler at the Avantgarde-Festival Schiphorst 2009, with "Casablanca Moon". As close to Slapp Happy as you may get!

Crying Time Again

It´s just that we do not have enough country in this blog! Lots of smiles to all, with Buck Owens and Ray Charles (1970).

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Here comes science

They Might Be Giants have released an album/DVD with music for kids about science, called "Here comes science". Better teach the kids some real stuff before they turn supersticious and alternative. TMBG have been serious (!) on previous releases too, covering topics like counting, the alphabet, how to behave in trafic, mammals and so on.
I've listened a lot to this band, so I guess I have to be pretty smart?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bradford, Gjerstad, Flaten, Nilssen-Love

Originally uploaded by svennevenn

Great news on Frode Gjerstad´s site! The concert with Bobby Bradford, Frode Gjerstad, Paal Nilssen-Love and Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten, at Moldejazz 2008 is released as a live album. The concert was held at "Reknes", the smallest of the festival´s venues, where some of the best music happens, mostly around midday!
A blog post on the concert here, and the album is called "Reknes" (Circulasione Totale CTCD 11).

Gjerstad has also released an album with John Edwards (bass) and Mark Sanders (drums) (FMR records), recorded at the Nattjazz festival in Bergen. The title of tat one is of course "Bergen".

So where do we buy these albums then?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fred Frith and Fritz Hauser (28/08/2009)

Young Nordic Jazz Comets

Norwegian PELbO and Icelandic The Ingimar Andersen Quartet shared the first price of the talent contest Young Nordic Jazz Comets 2009. I heard PELbO in Bergen in April 2008, and suggested that festival organizers should hire this band in my Norwegian blog "Wyatting".
PELbO is Ine Kristine Hoem - vocal/elektronic, Kristoffer Lo - tuba, Trond Bersu - drums, and now I realize that I heard Ine Hoem last week, with another tuba player.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sebastian Rochford

Drummer Sebastian Rochford, from a.o. Polar Bear, Acoustic Ladyland and working with Andy Shepard and Eno and David Byrne, gets this description in The Guardian: "Rochford's own late-night trio set, to introduce his own engagingly whimsical songs, needed sharper accompaniment than his own embryonic guitar-playing, and more rehearsal; but it hinted, though hesitantly, at a Robert Wyatt heir in the making."

A drummer with whimsical songs? A new Wyatt in the making? Anyone out there heard this?

Janek Schaefer (UK) and Mick Barr (US)

Saturday evening I attended a double concert together with just a few other people at Bergen´s Lydgalleriet (The Sound Gallery). Janek Schaefer (UK) and Mick Barr (US) were both new to me, but I understood by the pre concert chat, that some found it pretty amazing that Janek Schaefer was playing here. He was the first one out, and made some fascinating soundscapes with a record player and some electrickery. If I found his performance a bit too long, I woke up with a bang! when Mick Barr got going with some wild guitar playing. I think we were 12 people left, and if I wasn´t so old and shy, I just might have headbanged a bit.
See Barr on YouTube, recorded a couple of years ago.

You never know what you get at Lydgalleriet, and on Tuesday 15 September, you have to wear swimming suits, to listen to underwater musicby a.o. Maia Urstad, Espen Sommer Eide and Magnar Åm.

I have collected my pictures from the gallery in a Flickr set.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Thing + Otomo Yoshihide + Sakata Akira

The Thing + Otomo Yoshihide + Sakata Akira.
Live in Tokyo 9 September 2009.
Mats Gustafsson(Sax)
Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten(B)
Paal Nilssen-Love(Ds)
Yoshihide Otomo(G)
Akira Sakata(Sax,Voice).

Search blog

It seems like Blogger are having problems with their "Search Blog" function in the blogspot blogs. The functionality of the blog is reduced now, and you have to check Labels at the bottom right in the blog, and go from there, to be sure you will find everything written on a topic in a blog.
I hope they will fix this one soon!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Contemporary folk noise?

I missed this album when it was released this spring, but I am glad I have found UTE (AIMSoundCity 2009) now. "Ute" is "out" in Norwegian, and that might be a proper title for an album with track names meaning lawn, sandals, garden tools and the weather.
Here you get noise and contemporary musicians making some very exciting music. After I first heard a Norwegian folk song sung at the end of the track "Hageredskap" (that is "garden tools"), i suddenly started hearing flutes and string instruments used in folk music too, but this may all be my fault of course.
The cover (designed by Lasse Marhaug) also points to traditional folk music, or at least the folk cliché.
These fine musicians are on the album: Lene Grenager, John Hegre, Harad Fetveit and Else Olsen S. I really liked this one!

Christian Fennesz and Thomas Strønen

Yesterday I went to a duo concert with Christian Fennesz (guitar, laptop, electronics) and Thomas Strønen (drums, electronics) at the Bergen Jazzforum. I have seen Strønen in several bands, but know Fennesz mainly from his beautiful "Black Sea" album. These guys worked out a very good show, with a mix of ambient floating music and more rocking, loud stuff. The house was not packed, but after one long set we managed to get one extra. To be honest they just as well had to play, because the door to their backstage room was closed. Way to do it!

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Emanuel Vigeland Museum (Oslo)

If you are in Oslo this coming week (13 September - 20 September), please note that there will be lots of good concerts at the Emanuel Vigeland Museum. The museum has been open for 50 years this year, and that calls for a celebration. Artists like Terje Isungset, Susanna Wallumrød and Helge Steen, Frode Haltli, and Spunk are playing at this very special place. Program in Norwegian here , and there is room for only 30 persons!

Do a Muskelpust

I´m a fan of street artist (it´s artists I guess) Muskelpust, and visited one of the Phonofestivalen venues today, where you should be able to make your own Muskelpust figure on PC. The problem is that I´m quite a tall guy, and quite old they tell me, so I just didn´t manage to enter the booth! (Having a vodka lime this very moment to try to raise my spirits).
But check out Muskelpust´s blog, where you may work with
Muskelpust´s Modular Multipleks! I have to admit that my first figure ended up looking a bit like the work of a child, but I´m quite happy. In a few weeks I just might start sneaking around Bergen in the night time, doing street art?

Thursday, September 10, 2009


It´s festival time in Bergen again, this time it´s the Phonofestivalen . Yesterday I (and a just few others) attended a double concert with Ine & Peder and Mathisen/Høyer/Larsson.

Ine & Peder is Ine Hoem (vocal) and Peder Simonsen (tuba). They played some home made stuff, and several beautiful covers (a o Magnet) spiced with some electronic noise. Someone filmed their last tune, "The Model" by Kraftwerk, a quite fitting choice for a festival that focus on robots.

Mathisen/Høyer/Larsson are the two Norwegians Jørgen Mathisen (saxophone) and Ola Høyer (bass) and Swede drummer Andreas Hiroui Arsson. According to the program they would play some powerful, energetic and provoking music, but they settled for one of the most quiet (and short) concerts I have been to. I liked that! It does not hurt to concentrate, and you had to do that sometimes, to hear the music at all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Opsvik & Jennings

Check out Opsvik & Jennings "A Dream I Used to Remember" (Loyal Label 2009). This is a playful and fascinating album. Arild R. Andersen in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten (Norwegian) claims it may sound "like a stripped (of equipment I guess!) Pink Floyd on their way home after a quick visit at Robert Wyatt´s place" and that "you may hear the echo from the Canterbury and art rock scenes" (my translations).
I´m not sure, but he might be right of course. The duo is Eivind Opsvik and Aaron Jennings, and as usual you may have a listen over at MySpace.


Since it´s Beatlemania again, and people can empty their pockets to get boxes of old Beatles stuff, Wyatting celebrates The Rutles. That must be one of the greatest rock parodies of all times. "All you need is cash!"

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A few links for you

- Albatrosh were voted Young Jazz Musicians of the Year in Norway last year, and they got the SENA Award Best Group now (European champions, more like it)! Their new band with Lene Grenager and Hild Sofie Tafjord will play Bergen this month. If I´m not there, I´m not feeling too good.
- Author Wesley Stace, also known as musician John Wesley Harding, is pushing Robert Wyatt´s "Rock Bottom" in NYT.
- The great Sissy Wish album "Beauties never die" (2007) is being released in the US now, and she will do a tour of US, Japan and China. She is also singing on Sondre Lerche´s new album, and if you ask me, she could do vocals for Slapp Happy too.
- Since lots of other bloggers and twitterers (or is it twitters?) have done it already, I´m in too: PiL will reform.
- AllAboutJazz is covering several Norwegian festivals. Now they are visiting PUNKT (Kristiansand).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Soft Machine remastered

Before you spend all your money on the two new Beatles boxes, make sure you can afford the remastered versions of "Soft Machine" (1967) and "Volume 2" (1968) on Polydor. The band is Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge on the first album, while Hugh Hopper enters instead of Kevin Ayers on "Volume 2". The first album even got the single "Love makes sweet music"/ "Feelin´Reelin´Sqeelin´" (1967) as bonus tracks.
I have to admit that I only had vinyl versions of these albums, before I bought the remasters, so I can´t tell you if some previous CDs have been far from good enough (and I´m not a sound freak either), but the new ones are great! Lots of classic Wyatt vocals and all the reasons in the world to buy them.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Untitled. II

Yesterday I found "Untitled. II. The Beautiful Renaissance" (Pro-Actif Communications, 2009) in my post box. It is a good collection of pictures of street art, with words that, according to the authors, are "only included to keep the pictures company and make us look cleverer than we really are". DOLK and PØBEL´s Desolate Decoration project in the Lofoten area of Norway is well covered, and there are lots of pictures from Bergen too (among others 1, 2). See also the previous book called "Untitled. Street art in the counterculture".
Buy at your local book store or at Amazon.

Elephant9 live

Elephant9 gave a hot super concert at Bergen Jazzforum on Friday. Ståle Storløkken (keyb), Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen (b) and Torstein Lofthus (drums) play jazz and rock, with a taste of Weather Report and electric Miles. See these guys if you get the chance, and by all means buy their album "Dodovoodo" (Rune Grammofon 2008)!
svennejanson filmed the encore, that was supposed to be an ode to the western part of Norway (a lousy recording, but you get the point).

Saturday, September 5, 2009

John Surman 65

I had some serious plans to celebrate John Surman´s 65th birthday with a blog post 30 August, but I have to admit I forgot all about it. To straighten things up, I hereby post a video with Surman and Albert Mangelsdorff who celebrates his birthday number 81 today (according to Wikipedia). So, we´re having a party anyway!

AllAboutJazz published a great piece on John Surman 31 August. He talks about his music, how traveling is hard on the instruments and Norwegian taxes! Yes, he´s living in Norway, and I would not have minded to see him on stage here from time to time.


You might want to know about the Norwegian trio ÉnÉnÉn (meaning something like OneOneOne). The first time I heard about them was yesterday, so you won´t be far behind there. By luck I ended up at a very good concert in the Bergen shop Robot just minutes before Michael Francis Duch (bass), Tor Haugerud (drums) and Eirik Hegdal (sax/clarinet,) started playing. Google these guys and bands like Zanussi Five, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Lemur will pop up. This music is not easy to classify, but there are elements of both jazz and contemporary classical, and free impro and so on. Hell, I´ll call it jazz.
They haven´t recorded any material yet as ÉnÉnÉn, but now you´ll be in a position to tell your friends that of course you have heard about this band, when the album finally arrives. Of course!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ivor Cutler and David Shrigley

nialldebuitlear has made some videos to Ivor Cutler songs, based on drawings by David Shrigley. See Shrigley´s own videos on YouTube too!

Ivor Cutler died in 2006, but he´s still on Twitter!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Walking on a wire

Are you one of the people who have not bought Richard Thompson´s records? Really? Now you have the chance to get a collection on 4 CDs called "Walking on a wire 1968 - 2009" (Shout! Factory 2009). In this package you also get a 60 page booklet written by Thompson biographer Patrick Humphries.
If you have got all this stuff already, don´t forget "RT. The life and music of Richard Thompson" (Free Reed Records).

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Crazy In Love

I have blogged a live version Antony and the Johnsons´ cover of Beyonce´s "Crazy in love" before, but let´s see the official video by Joie Iacono too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

John Zorn

I seldom play an album as many times as I have played John Zorn´s
"O´o" (Tzadik 2009) the first days after the purchase. This album, named after and extinct Hawaiian bird, flies with the help of Cyro Baptista (perc), Joey Baron (dr), Trevor Dunn (b), Marc Ribot (g), Jamie Saft (p, org) and Kenny Wollesen (vibes). "Miller´s Crake" swings so nicely, "Po ´o´uli" takes me to a bird forest , "Laughing Owl" makes me smile, "Little Bittern" rocks along with some great guitar playing and the organ on "Zapata Rail" is awesome. What a nice late summer and autumn soundtrack.

Read more about the hard working (no television!) John Zorn at JazzTimes. I like his attitude towards different kinds of music! "It’s not a matter of having a short attention span, it’s a matter of living in today’s world and being a curious, creative, open-minded, intelligent individual who appreciates greatness for its own sake without putting it into any kind of academic or cultural box".

See and hear John Zorn, Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed in a video recorded 13 August 2009.

Jackie Oates

The Bergen folk music club Columbi Egg opened their autumn season yesterday, with visitors from England. Singer and violin player Jackie Oates brought along James Dumbleton (g), Sille Illves (bowed harp ?) and Laurel Swift (b) . They performed some self penned material, but mostly English folk music of the sad kind ("I love sad songs"). The sad songs got even better by using what we learned was a shruti box (a mini harmonium). They did a fantastic version of "The Lark in the Morning" (I know that one only from Steeleye Span) where Dumbleton even sang overtones. Oh yes, and Jackie Oates has a great voice! Listen at Myspace, and wait for their new album, out one of these days.