The jazz trio format is tried and tested, to put it mildly, and has become one of the basic ensemble formats of modern jazz. Here is a trio that has its feet planted firmly within the tradition, but still offers something unique to the listener. The Espen Berg Trio made its mark with the group’s first album, “Mønster”, in 2015. The trio was referred to as “the biggest and most important musical discovery in the first half of 2016” by Jazz Japan, and they have toured extensively in Japan, where they have also signed a recording contract. Now the trio is back, with a striking and elegant new album that very possibly will be an even bigger breakthrough for the trio. This is a group that is positively overflowing with talent and musical enthusiasm.
Pianist Espen Berg, along with Bárður Reinert Poulsen (double bass) and Simon Olderskog Albertsen (drums), presents a series of enormously dynamic compositions, where the complex, the melodious and the lyrical are merged in new and surprising ways. The trio delivers modern, extrovert and accessible music that deserves to reach a large audience.
Pianist and composer Espen Berg (b. 1983), from Hamar, is currently living in Trondheim, where he earned a master’s degree in 2008 from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) renowned jazz programme. Since then he has been engaged as a professor at the university. He has toured worldwide with his trio Listen, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Marius Neset, as well as with his own projects. He has released two critically acclaimed solo piano albums, and in 2007 he was voted the best soloist at the Hoeilaart International Jazz Contest in Belgium. In 2016 he won one of Norway’s most important music awards, JazZtipendiatet, which resulted in the commissioned work “Maetrix”. This piece had its world premiere at the Molde Jazz Festival in 2017, played by the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Among the musicians Espen has worked with are Silje Nergaard, Anders Jormin, Per Jørgensen, Hildegunn Øiseth, Arve Henriksen and Mathias Eick. The music Berg composes demands a level of precision that could make a Swiss watch tremble in fear, but it seems simple and organically free-flowing when he and the trio are playing it.
Bassist Bárður Reinert Poulsen is originally from Tórshavn on the Faroe Islands. He moved to Trondheim, where he received a degree from the NTNU’s jazz programme in 2014. He is an extremely active musician, and plays with both jazz and pop projects – the Fjords, Wako, Fieldfare, Swenefon – in addition to being a member of the Faroese Symphony Orchestra.
Drummer Simon Olderskog Albertsen is from Stjørdal, and like the other members of th trio, also has a background from the jazz programme at the NTNU. He plays in a number of jazz bands, but also works with folk and pop music, and as a theatre musician. He released the album “War Wounds” together with the English singer-songwriter Mark Gregory, and has appeared on records with Wako and Operasjon Hegge.
“Bølge” was recorded at the legendary Rainbow Studio by engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug, and is available as a digital recording, on CD and as a stylish 2LP.
released August 26, 2018
Espen Berg: Piano
Bárður Reinert Poulsen: Double Bass
Simon Olderskog Albertsen: Drums
Named JAZZ JAPAN’s biggest and most important discovery in the first half of 2016. The band has been touring in Japan, the
Faroe Islands, Norway, Greece, Estonia, China and Spain. JAZZWISE (UK) writes that «Bølge», their second album, is a mature statement from an artist whose personal style, concept and seemingly bottomless wellspring of ideas set him apart from his contemporaries....more
Creative, fresh, continuously surprising - this is the first album I've bought that is not straight-ahead jazz. Nachoff has won me over with brilliant writing, brilliant musicianship, and evocative arrangements. Just when a solo seems to have completed its exploration of a musical statement, for one example, the low sonorities of a beautiful synth line jump in to add gorgeous texture and to take the musical idea into fascinating territory. Bravo! freshkach