Arne Torvik – Northwestern Sounds
(Øra Fonogram. CD review by Mike Collins)
Pianist Arne Trovik references his geographic location in Norway with the title of his debut release on Øra Fonogram, but he’s absorbed an international flavour to his music, expressed in the six original compositions on this recording. Trovik leads a sextet through the set with attractive melodies as a constant thread and plenty of nods to relaxed, funky grooves, overtly rocky beats and more meditative folky moments.
Heart starts with a slow rubato statement, Kristoffer Eikrem’s warm sound on trumpet drawing the ear as it does throughout and blending with Martin Myhre Olsen’s alto. Then the bass and and drums of Dan Peter Sundland and Tomas Järmyr kick in and we hear Martin Myhre Olsen’s guitar for the first time re-stating the tune over an easy groove.
Leaving’s chanting theme sets the scene for a gently rocking ballad with a beautifully paced solo from Elkram, swelling over the contours of the emotional tug of the harmony and the band joining in to build to climax. Over the quietly ticking pulse of Once More Olsen stretches out. Oslo S creeps in, the leader’s piano sketching a mood, tracing out a theme and then, after an exploratory bass solo, building a solo, melodic fragments and broken phrases gradually accumulating to build momentum and excitement. After the racing clatter and urgent pulse of Ørsta, Day and Night moves from theme through patiently built solos from Trovik and Olsen to a declamatory climax.
This a warm, emotional set from Arne Torvik and his band with fine playing all round.
Mike Collins is a pianist and writer based in Bath, who runs the jazzyblogman site. Twitter @jazzyblogman