Haftor Medbøe and Jacob Karlzon: Haftor Medbøe and Jacob Karlzon (Copperfly)

 |   |  1 min read

Hope
Haftor Medbøe and Jacob Karlzon: Haftor Medbøe and Jacob Karlzon (Copperfly)

In keeping with our name – and love for the 10'' vinyl format – Elsewhere is pleased to point readers to this very pleasant limited-edition hand-numbered 10'' vinyl (with a digital download which includes an extra track) by this guitar and piano duo.

Norwegian/Scottish guitarist Haftor Medbøe and Swedish pianist Jacob Karlzon met 15 years ago at the Islay Jazz Festival in the Hebrides 15 years ago but the long-projected collaboration didn't come about until last year and these works were premiered at the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival.

Given their backgrounds – Medbøe having recorded with various Norwegian artists and now a jazz musician in residence and associate professor at Edinburgh's Napier University; Kalzlon equally accomplished and having played with Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler and Billy Cobham among others – it will be no surprise to learn that these are four meditative, spacious and quiet duets.

But the emotional coolness of much austere Scandinavian and European jazz isn't evident in these more romantically inclined pieces with telling titles: Waiting, Hope, Tranquil and Return.

Tranquil at the midpoint is elegantly spare to the point of delicious evaporation, but behind Medbøe's almost pointillistic and fluid playing Karlzon's piano lays out a delightfully slow and stately backdrop. The melody is so effortless it begs for lyrics to evoke pastoral reflection.

Return begins slightly more flighty and upbeat to fulfill the promise of its title and then really gets joyful.

And the bonus download track Happiness – with a somewhat intrusive vocal part by a woman singer, unnamed – evokes a mood of contentment more than effusiveness. She does seem an unnecessary element in an album which was doing just fine without a vocal part. So maybe we retract that earlier observation?

This is a pleasant, considered cycle and you can sample Hope from mini-album at Elsewhere and pre-order a copy of the tasty 10'' vinyl (released April 5) here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA REVIEWED (2015): Keeping up the standards

THE COUNT BASIE ORCHESTRA REVIEWED (2015): Keeping up the standards

More than just carrying the music and legacy of the great Count Basie (who died in '84), the orchestra that bears his name and played Auckland's elegant Civic defies the logistics and expense of... > Read more

Wynton Marsalis: He and She (Blue Note/EMI)

Wynton Marsalis: He and She (Blue Note/EMI)

It must be difficult being Wynton Marsalis, having done it all (at least if you consider "all" being going backwards through jazz pre-Sixties and bringing the music to the current... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren McShane of Superturtle

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE SONGWRITER QUESTIONNAIRE: Darren McShane of Superturtle

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer Darren McShane has previously appeared on an Elsewhere questionnaire – five years ago – but on the back of the new Superturtle album which... > Read more

Leonard Cohen: Avalanche (1971)

Leonard Cohen: Avalanche (1971)

In the course of sometimes interesting, occasionally haywire Q&A session after the screening of the film 20,000 Days on Earth in Auckland, Nick Cave was asked if he'd ever met Leonard Cohen and... > Read more