1982 – Chromola
(Hubro HUBROCD1558. CD Review by Peter Bacon)
Of all the trios in contemporary jazz, 1982 is for me one of the most fascinating. It starts with the instrumentation: violin, harmonium and drums. Then there are the particular players: Nils Økland, Sigbjørn Apeland and Øyvind Skarbø. And with this new album, which marks the trio’s 10th anniversary, it’s amplified by the developments and changes they have brought about.
Økland has always played the Hardanger fiddle in addition to violin, and Skarbø’s drums have always leaned towards the large and sonorous, but Apeland has chosen to play pipe organ on all but one track on Chromola, and that gives the music an altogether deeper, more mysterious ambience. Also, this album marks a return to the core trio after a number of collaborative recordings.
As usual, the song titles are not song titles at all but merely reflections of the length of the track. The opening 7:56 gives a characteristic introduction to the album as a whole – it is, somehow, both grand and restrained, and so rich in sonorities. The band is comfortable with sparse impressionism – 6:37 – arty minimalism – 7:00 – proggy drama – 4:03 – and even free atonal improv – 4:45.
What the album has throughout is a soundscape evocative of the natural world, of earth and wood and air, of a strange and thoroughly beguiling beauty.