Cover Elastic Wave

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  • 1Altaret03:52
  • 2Spending Time with Ludvig04:04
  • 3Dreignau03:14
  • 4Influx Delight04:50
  • 5Lokket til Jon, og skjerfet til Paul04:26
  • 6The Other Village03:30
  • 7Boogie04:58
  • 8Cercle 8502:43
  • 9Acoustic Dance Music04:08
  • 10Til Liv03:50
  • 11The Room Next To Her04:55
  • Total Runtime44:30

Info for Elastic Wave

Drummer Gard Nilssen’s ECM leader debut follows acclaimed recordings for the label with the Maciej Obara Quartet. Elastic Wave presents Nilssen’s powerful trio with fellow Norwegian André Roligheten on reeds and Swedish bassist Petter Eldh (recently heard with Kit Downes). The group’s dynamic interaction, dancing sense of pulse and boldly etched themes – all three players contribute compositions – make Acoustic Unity one of the most engaging bands on the circuit today, able to address fiery anthems and poignant ballads with equal panache and conviction. Elastic Wave was recorded at Studios La Buissonne in the South of France in June 2021.

Gard Nilssen is one of Europe’s most creative improvising drummers, with a fresh approach to rhythm and freedom. On ECM, he has appeared on acclaimed recordings with the Maciej Obara Quartet (Unloved, Three Crowns) and with Mathias Eick (Skala). Now Elastic Wave presents the Norwegian musician’s powerhouse trio, Acoustic Unity. Dynamic interaction, a swinging sense of pulse and boldly etched themes – all three players contribute compositions – are among the defining attributes of a group that addresses fiery anthems and poignant ballads with panache and conviction.

The group’s stylistic flexibility is rooted in shared experience. Nilssen and saxophonist/clarinettist André Roligheten grew up together in their hometown of Skien in Norway’s Telemark region. In 2005 they encountered Swedish bassist Petter Eldh inside a “Nordic large ensemble for young musicians” directed by Django Bates, and found an immediate rapport. In 2014, after diverse collaborations, Nilssen, Roligheten and Eldh came together as a trio, and have since toured widely. Elastic Wave is the trio’s fourth album, following releases on Clean Feed and Odin.

Many influences flow into their music. André Roligheten’s early role models included Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and Archie Shepp, but his big sound draws inspiration from multiple sources. “The Other Village”, for instance, on which Roligheten plays tenor and soprano saxophones simultaneously, takes its impetus from a memory of the skirling of Mediterranean bagpipes. “Influx Delight” has a lithe, dancing Ornette-on-tenor bounce to it, but moves over a rhythmic feeling with elements of Brazilian samba, or in Gard’s view, “the way Charlie Haden and Paul Motian play Latin music.” This broad view of modern jazz history is characteristic for the trio. On “The Room Next To Her”, Roligheten plays the bass saxophone with a ritualistic power, while “Dreignau” features his elegant clarinet playing.

Bassist Petter Eldh has been heard on ECM in contexts including Django Bates’s trio Belovèd (The Study of Touch, 2016). A musician of omnivorous musical taste, channelling idioms from bebop to hiphop to free improvising, Eldh recently received the SWR Jazz Prize 2022, the jury praising his “energetic and empathetic double bass playing”, attributes evident throughout Elastic Wave. The album opens with Eldh’s tune “Altaret” – its title, meaning “the altar” in Swedish, references the view in Gard’s Oslo practice room, adorned with a portrait of Coltrane. It’s a freely contrapuntal piece opening the door on the trio’s concept of independence and togetherness in the improvising.

Gard has cited the impact of hearing Tony Williams. Elvin Jones, Ed Blackwell, Roy Haynes, and Jack DeJohnette as formative for his individualistic drum style. But he has also been touched by Jon Christensen’s waves-of-sound approach to jazz drumming. To underline the drum traditions of ECM he brought one of Christensen’s cymbals with him to the Elastic Wave session, integrating it into the total sound of his kit as a second ride cymbal. Nilssen’s tune “Lokket til Jon, og skjerfet til Paul” also alludes to a scarf once left at the La Buissonne studio by Paul Motian, used here to take the edge off the bass drum’s ringing overtones.

Some other titular allusions: the happy-go-lucky and confident “Spending Time with Ludvig” is for Gard’s young son, and the pretty ballad “Til Liv” for André’s daughter. “Acoustic Dance Music”, which also has a Colemanesque full-throttle feeling, is titled by Nilssen as a small protest against the encroaching world of electronic dance music, whose ponderous machine beat he views as the death-knell for creativity; in contrast, Acoustic Unity proposes its malleable, lively sense of drive.

Elastic Wave is issued in time for appearances at this year’s Jazzfestival Saalfelden, where Gard Nilssen is artist-in-residence, appearing with Acoustic Unity and with his large ensemble the Supersonic Orchestra (which also has the trio at its core, and its material arranged by Nilssen and Roligheten) and other formations. This autumn will see touring by both the large and small groups.

Meanwhile, the word continues to spread, beyond Europe’s borders. “Ask me to name a killer working band that most American jazz listeners still don’t know,” wrote Nate Chinen on his WBGO blog, “and there’s a good chance I’d land on Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity. Based in Oslo and led by Nilssen, an excellent drummer on that scene, it’s an acoustic trio that can veer from abstract expressionism to hard, barrelling swing.” These qualities are much in evidence on the present recording.

Elastic Wave was recorded at Studios La Buisssonne in Pernes-les-Fontaines the South of France in June 2021. Further ECM recordings with Gard Nilssen are in preparation.

Gard Nilssen, drums
André Roligheten, tenor-, soprano- and bass-saxophone, clarinet
Petter Eldh, double bass

Gard Nilssen
is a drummer, composer, producer and bandleader from Norway that lives in Oslo. He is one of the most sought after and active drummers on the european jazz scene these days, traveling 200 days a year all around the world with his own bands like Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity, Bushman´s Revenge, sPacemonKey, Amgala Temple, Ruby and Gard Nilssen Supersonic Orchestra.

Born and raised in a musical family consisting of nothing but drummers, there were no big surprise that the instrument of choice became the drums. Gard has his background from marching bands and big bands in his hometown Skien. He studied drums with his all time hero Audun Kleive before he moved to Trondheim where he got his master degree in jazz at the NTNU University of Jazz Music (2003-2009).

His drumming is described as; Energetic, creative, musical, groovy, fearless and dynamic with a technical surplus, and besides having recorded 70 records, he has played and toured with musicians and artists like:

Bill Frisell, Pat Metheny, Thomasz Stanko, Joshua Redman, Ambrose Akinmusire, Susanne Sundfør, Chris Potter, Django Bates, Bugge Wesseltoft, Axel Dörner, Jon Balke, Arild Andersen, Audun Kleive, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Morten Qvenild, Ola Kvernberg, Stian Carstensen, Håkon Kornstad, Ståle Storløkken, Stian Westerhus, Øystein Moen, Jørgen Mathisen, Even Hermansen, Rune Nergaard, Kristoffer Alberts, Johan Lindstrøm, André Roligheten, Thomas Morgan, Mike Stern, Andy Sheppard, Eirik Hegdal, Ole Morten Vågan, Petter Eldh, Goran Kajfes, Per "Texas" Johansson, Maciej Obara, Hanna Paulsberg, Anja Lauvdal, Kjetil Møster, Mats Eilertsen, Lars Horntveth, Ola Høyer, Gunhild Kristoffersen, Megan Kovacs, Thomas Johansson, Kit Downes, Lage Lund, Dominik Wania, Mathias Eick, Lasse Marhaug, Erlend Slettevoll, Oscar Grönberg, Ellen Andrea Wang, Sivert Høyem, Billie Van, Hilde Marie Kjersem, Ingebjørg Bratland, Thea Hjelmeland, Thomas Dybdahl, Nicolai Eilertsen, Jonas Alaska, Rolf Erik Nystrøm, Miko Innanen, Jonas Kullhammar, Amund Maarud, David Wallumrød, Morten Myklebust, Jens Carelius, Jamie Saft and Ingebrigt Flaten among others.

He is also a member of Susanne Sundfør band, Maciej Obara 4tet, Cortex, Team Hegdal, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Thomas Dybdahl band.

In 2019 he was the "Artist In Residence" at the Molde International Jazz Festival.

In addition to that, he loves music in general and doesn´t care about genre at all. He´s a vintage drum freak to the bone and a vinyl collector that has his own record label called Gigafon.

André Roligheten
was born in Skien, Norway in 1985. He started playing the saxophone at the age of 8 and early on became interested in improvised music. Roligheten has studied to Bachelor at the Jazz Academy at NTNU in Trondheim, with teachers and mentors like John Pål Inderberg and Erling Aksdal. Now he recently finished his Masters degree in improvised music at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo.

One of Rolighetens main projects is the duo ”Albatrosh”. After winning the prestigious Norwegian “JazzIntro” award in 2008, “Young Jazz Musicians of the year”, Albatrosh has had busy years. In 2009 they released their critically acclaimed debut album, “Seagull Island” (InnerEar), as the cohesive press celebrated with solid rolls of the dice, and by the big Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet described as “perhaps the most exciting release in Norwegian elite jazz in many years”. And John Kelman from All about jazz: “Roligheten and Dale manage to say much without ever resorting to excess. A fine debut from a duo with a bright future, Seagull Island doesn’t just suggest great promise; it delivers on it as well.” In 2010 they released their second album “Mystery Orchestra with Grenager & Tafjord”, featuring cellist Lene Grenager and horn player Hild Sofie Tafjord. This album received great reviews as well, and the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen ranked it to be the best Norwegian jazz record of 2010. At North Sea jazz 2009 they took part in the European Jazz Competition, and won the prestigious 1st prize “Best Band”. Jury chairman, Maria Schneider said: “Most original, great interplay and amazing improvisation, effective and colorful compositions paired to amazing improvisation.” This meant radio play across Europe as well as a dedicated concert at North Sea Jazz 2010.

During “Young Nordic Jazz Comets 2008”, the jury awarded Roligheten with the Soloist Prize “because of his virtuous technique and his dynamic play. Especially his technique combined with the ability to improvise in very tight arrangements made the choice. He is disciplined – in control – and plays with an impressive rhythmic and melodic combination. He is a young talent!”In 2009 André went on a Europe tour with European Jazz Orchestra conducted by Peter Herbolzheimer, where he played with some great fellow musicians from 20 countries all over Europe. Some of Rolighetens other current projects are “Team Hegdal”, fellow saxophonist Eirik Hegdals new quartet (Hegdal, known from a.o. Trondheim Jazz Orchestra with Joshua Redman). Terje Mosnes wrote in the Norwegian Newspaper Dagbladet about the first record: “..sparkling solos and swinging hard drive, and two saxophonists that ardent each other to the most “harmolodical” deeds I can ever recall hearing from Norwegian musicians.”The record (“Volume 1″) was also awarded this year’s record of 2010 by the Norwegian magazine Jazznytt.

André is also playing with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (TJO). At Molde Jazzfestival 2010, he played with TJO ́s project with Ståle Storløkken (Super Silent) and the legendary Norwegian rock group Motorpsycho.

Roligheten has also played and worked with musicians like: Andrew D ́angelo, Theo Bleckman, Django Bates, John Edwards, Paul Lovens, Axel Dörner, Robin Hayward, Raymond Strid, Bugge Wesseltoft, Mathias Eick, Ola Kvernberg, Paal Nilssen-Love, Per Zanussi.

André have played on festivals like Molde Jazzfestival, Kongsberg Jazzfestival, Oslo Jazzfestival, Norh Sea Jazz, Münster Jazz, Süd Tyrol Jazz, 12 Points, Dølajazz, Nattjazz, Jazzfest, Maijazz, Soddjazz, Vossajazz. And done several tours in Scandinavia, Germany, Poland, Czech, Slovenia, France, Italy, China and USA.

Petter Eldh
was obsessed with Jazz, Classical, Soul, Reggae, Swedish folk music, Middle-Eastern and Hip Hop at an early age and collected vinyl since the age of 7. He initially played the guitar before switching to what became his primary instrument, the double bass. Early influences such as Charles Mingus, Anders Jormin, Charlie Haden, Charlie Parker, A Tribe Called Quest, Monica Zetterlund, Samla Mammas Manna, Aretha Franklin and Earth Wind & Fire have guided his diverse output as a musician.

Long-standing collaborations include the following erratic and progressive forces: Django Bates Beloved (ECM records), Enemy (Kit Downes/James Maddren), Jameszoo, Otis Sandsjö (Y-Otis), Lucia Cadotsch Speak Low, Hayden Chisholm, Gard Nilssen, Peter Bruun, Christian Lillinger, Benoit Delbecq, Jonas Kullhammar and Kaja Draksler. As a producer he has remixed work by Jaga Jazzist - The Shrine (Brainfeeder), Jameszoo – Flake (Brainfeeder), DLW - Repurposing DLW (Plaist), Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra – Vula (Afterhours), Speak Low (Enja) and releases his own music on his own imprint Galatea Records and the Finnish label WeJazz Records where he’s releasing albums with his band KOMA SAXO & Y-Otis.

His latest album is called Projekt Drums vol.1 and was released by Edition Record in September 2021. It features drummers like Eric Harland, Savannah Harris, Richard Spaven among others.

Booklet for Elastic Wave

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