Halvor Meling | Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson | Jan Martin Gismervik | Wolfram | Va Fongool Records

Halvor Meling: saxophone | Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson: Acoustic Bass | Jan Martin Gismervik: Drums

Produced, mixed and masteredby Frode Gjerstad. Recorded in Stavanger, 8th – 9th of September, 2011. Supported by BandOrg. Artwork and design by Ida Kristine Gismervik.

Tracklist: 1. [06:29] 2. [03:22] 3. [04:53] 4. [04:20] 5. [02:57] 6. [03:03] 7. [02:48] 8. [02:33] 9. [03:46] 10. [04:09] Total Time: [38:03]

Wolfram Trio

is a group that seeks inspiration in acoustic free jazz, with heroes such as Eric Dolphy, Albert Ayler, Peter Brotzman and Even Parker. Wolfram plays a mixture of improvised music and their own compositions. The three members in Wolfram is also very good friends and therefor it is very fun for them to play together, as if the musical amusement should not be enough.

On April the 20th, 2012, they gave out their debut album «Wolfram», labeled as acoustic speed-improv. Full of fierce energy, this is a great listen for all fans of improvised music.

The album was recorded in Stavanger, Norway, 8th -9th of september 2011, and is produced, mixed and mastered by Frode Gjerstad.

«The trio plays as one tight unit from the first seconds of each track, pushing ahead in uncompromising and intense manner, letting the chaotic volume and volition take form and reach its climax…» – All About Jazz

«Much like Brötzmann in his younger years, the group seems to function at the very threshold of chaos, tersely handling each idea before restlessly pushing forward.» – freejazz-stef, Daniel Sorrells

«Unsaid phrases and dense, not dragging on compositions show a comprehensive kind of thinking and excellent ballance in the band.» – Soundsgreen, Monika Okrój

«Du free jazz à l’état pur, avec une traditionnelle formation entièrement acoustique sax/basse/batterie» – Improv Sphere, Julien Héraud

«Pa-dam dam dam- pa-pa-dam-dam-pa-pa-dam-dam-da. Kallalla-bam! Titidiidiili(!), ti-tu-tididili-di, titididilidi(!), Ta-ta-t-at-at-ada-da. Kalla-bam-bam-bam. Kababbalam. Bo-dom, dom- Bo-dom, dom-bom. Ka-dom-bom-bom!» – Jazzinorge.no, Pål Buset

 

Free jazz to the people

– this slogan best describes the role of the Norwegian Wolfram Trio. On their first album titled simply “Wolfram”, musicians from Oslo present themselves as energetic, uncompromising improvisers. And while one can insist that what they do, it has been reworked many times in all languages​​, it must be admitted that they picked up the gauntlet by looking for a new expression, giving the music an individual trait and form. These ten songs are nothing else but “let’s introduce to the world”.

Listening to the whole “Wolfram” you can experience a veritable mosaic of moods, surprising twists at the micro and macroform. This is a multicolored mosaic, extending for another space dimension, reaching sonoristic “3D”. Single pieces form a whole, which stimulating element becomes a sound, motive, or articulation manner. They also create a chain of contrasts. When you look at this as a whole, you can see the consequence of the “parts”, which are like in rondeau – with the returning refrain and variables couplets, where each is about something else, but also refers to the previous, bantering with its matter.

This returning, refrain motif is firmly embedded in the pulsating pace, whirl of improvisation, which introduces musicians to the crazy, Ayler’s rush full of clamoring saxophone turns. It seems that one by the other musicians wind up in this trance, yet know when to stop neatly. In these passages saxophone and drums bring to mind the James Allsopp / Paal Nilssen-Love duo. At number four the climate is tough; low-sound bass and drums are ominous background for “flanger” alto, which as if hypnotized makes a show with rough trills. Another time, Scandinavians are catched by the underground climate of Chicago, sound then very richly and genuinely. The latest piece is dominated by evenly beating sound (perhaps a doublebass body), like a ringing bell. It is meaningful on the background of the constantly raging, improvisational substance.

“Couplet” fragments are calmer, they make the whole harmonized and even more dynamic. Some of them last only two minutes, others are impressionistic and suggestive, but all of them are complete. In the third track the bass player catches the bow, but not for clumsy attempting to imitate the classics; he just glues to the drumer’s part and creates a grotesque theater with sounds of a whining dog and an insistent, buzzing fly. Some other time there also appears a repetitive, flageolet motive, lyrically close to the Arvo Pärt’s music, is set on the edge of whispers and silence. Gentle murmurs, rubbing cymbals and metallic scraping are interrupted by another fragment with the “screech” as a leitmotif. Everything it works cleansing and prepare for the following powerful, refrain momentum.

So we can hear that the musicians have much fun, playing both with each other, and with the listener. Unsaid phrases and dense, not dragging on compositions show a comprehensive kind of thinking and excellent ballance in the band. It’s a real “miniature” show in ten acts. Musicians from Wolfram Trio don’t need more to be introduced.

“Free jazz to the people”. By this we mean that free jazz as a musical genre is something everybody can enjoy. It’s not something you necessarily need to “understand” to enjoy. It’s just music. — Monika Okroj

Wolfram Trio is a new Norwegian outfit

that adds its own version to the existing European mix of acoustic free jazz and free improvisation. The trio claims its roots in the pioneering work of saxophonists Peter Brötzmann and Evan Parker, as well as bassist Barry Guy—saxophonist Albert Ayler, even—but does not demonstrate any overt reverence to these influential forefathers, nor does it try to mimic their personal articulations.

This short debut—10 unnamed tracks that clock in at less than forty minutes—was produced by fellow Norwegian sax hero Frode Gjerstad, who also mixed and master this recording. Under his guidance, the trio has formed its own sound and dynamics—fast, muscular, explosive and highly playful. The trio plays as one tight unit from the first seconds of each track, pushing ahead in uncompromising and intense manner, letting the chaotic volume and volition take form and reach its climax, only to then be abandoned by the next track.

There’s no clear leader in this trio. On some of the tracks it sound as if all three are forcing their own busy and opinionated ideas through a hectic improvisation, or searching for a common sound. On other tracks it may be any one of them that sets the rhythmic framework or the noisy, leading sound. This trio often surprises with almost silent and highly delicate improvisations, where each sonic utterance carries a much greater import, as can be heard on the fifth eight and the tenth improvisations.

There are many Norwegian outfits that operate on the free, left-of-center side of jazz. Wolfram Trio is another excellent addition to this field—eager, powerful and ready to leave its mark. — Eyal Hareuveni

 

CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

€ 16.00
Quantity

LP version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)

€ 35.00
Quantity

3 thoughts on “Halvor Meling | Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson | Jan Martin Gismervik | Wolfram | Va Fongool Records

  1. Wolfram Trio’s opening statement is also their longest. In just over six minutes, the trio unfurls the first of ten short blasts of their tense, knotted brand of free improvisation. Wolfram is the group’s debut album, and the touchpoints are easy enough: punk rock, 60s free jazz, maybe even the ambiguous, churning energy of Norwegian black metal. Much like Brötzmann in his younger years, the group seems to function at the very threshold of chaos, tersely handling each idea before restlessly pushing forward.

    The resoundingly youthful appearance of saxophonist Halvor Meling, bassist Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson, and drummer Jan Martin Gismervik is worth noting. Despite their fresh faces, the three have been playing together since 2008 and sport a relatively mature sound that in many ways sums up the current state of improvised music. Their style can evoke the British greats: Evan Parker and John Edwards often come to mind. Fellow Norseman Frode Gjerstad, who produced the album, must also see some of his own frenetic energy in the group. Wolfram Trio are often noisy, pushing beyond notes and beats into pulsing clouds of sound. Meling has a rough, searching tone that can be more like a menacing vocal extension than a musical instrument. But Wolfram is not without its hushed moments, too. Tracks five and eight illustrate an understanding of the uneasy weight that can be implied through space and silence.

    Wolfram is an exciting debut. Young and eager, the band has already indicated their next offering will be released later this year. Clearly they’ve spent a lot of time studying the maps laid down by generations of improvisers before them. And now, it’s just as clear they’re headed toward the dark perimeters, and the places that have yet to be illuminated.

  2. Wolfram est un trio norvégien composé de trois vieux amis: Halvor Meling au saxophone, Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson à la basse acoustique, et Jan Martin Gismervik à la batterie. Pour ce premier album, ce trio nous propose une musique plus classique que le trio précédent. Du free jazz à l’état pur, avec une traditionnelle formation entièrement acoustique sax/basse/batterie. La section rythmique est souvent décalée, déconstruite, elle joue sur les intensités et les dynamiques sans trop se soucier de pulsation ou de rythmes. Quant au saxophone, un jeu criard et virulent, énergique et intense comme il fait, mais certainement un poil trop monocorde et redondant. Heureusement, il y a cette excellente section rythmique qui est toujours là pour donner du relief et du nerf. Car fondamentalement, la musique de Wolfram est nerveuse, colérique et intense comme un trio d’Albert Ayler sans les thèmes extraits de différentes musiques populaires. Mélodies, thèmes, et rythmiques s’effacent ici au profit d’une nervosité omniprésente et d’une colère insatiable. Le cri à l’état pur, sans fioritures. Pour les amoureux du free jazz.

  3. På coveret: Wolfram-bikkja. Dere som har vært på konsert med Wolfram, dere som på noe vis kjenner til Wolfram, har antagelig fått med dere Wolfram-bikkja. Dette frådende rabiesudyret som gliser skeivt inn i blitsen. På plakatene, på nettet, nå også som cover-bikkje.

    Hvis du har hatt en lang dag på jobben, eller av en annen grunn er stressa, lei deg eller bare litt utmatta, er det ikke en spesielt god ide å sette seg ned med Wolfram Trios debutalbum Wolfram. Det er ikke en dårlig plate, det er bare en veldig intens lytteropplevelse, og definitivt ikke egnet bakgrunnsmusikk.

    De ti navnløse låtene (åpent for tolkning, eventuelt er tittelen lik lengden på låta) er hektiske serieeksplosjoner av akustisk frijazz. Her er sjeldent rolig eller lavmælt, her skal blåses, dundres og vandres, og stort sett skal det skje veldig kjapt og hulter til bulter.

    Alt er ikke hektisk, jeg skal ikke påstå det. Men det aller meste går unna. Enkelte av låtene er mer ettertenksomme med små, slentrende turer på kontrabass og stille snirkling i pustesaks. Behagelige, bedagelige visper over trommene. Et tema som utvikles, intensiveres.

    Pa-dam dam dam- pa-pa-dam-dam-pa-pa-dam-dam-da. Kallalla-bam! Titidiidiili(!), ti-tu-tididili-di, titididilidi(!), Ta-ta-t-at-at-ada-da. Kalla-bam-bam-bam. Kababbalam. Bo-dom, dom- Bo-dom, dom-bom. Ka-dom-bom-bom!

    Omtrent sånn kan siste del av fjerde låt transkriberes. Trommene ruller. Saksen ruller. Bassen vandrer. Hektisk. Fortsatt forbanna hektisk.

    Femte låt er platas første, lengre pustehull. Jeg tror jeg trenger det. Her er det høyere under taket og lydene er lavere, mindre. De gjør ikke like mye ut av seg, har ikke like dårlig tid med å komme seg opp spiralene sine, med å dundre over trommeskinn eller småløpe opp halsen. Så begynner saksen å skrike som en som hengslene på en motvillig Jøtul-ovn.

    I åttende låt, en av mine favoritter, dukker hengslene opp igjen. En knapt tre minutter lang meditasjon over ovnens foregående klynking. Nesten uhørlig perkusjon. En bass som mumler, mer enn vandrer.

    I Wolfram er gamle ovner og maniske småfugler, mumlebass og løpebass, spastisk slagverk og fjærlette visper. Det er hektisk i Wolfram, her finnes sjeldent mye energi, men også små stille lommer, øyeblikk der jeg kan slappe av, puste ut og samle meg etter utbrudda.

    Dette er Wolfram Trio. Dette er akustisk speed-impro. Dette er en gruppe som ikke er redd for å utfordre lytterne. Enten hører du på Wolfram, eller du gjør det ikke. Det er ikke bakgrunnsmusikk. Dette er ikke litt hyggelig jazz du setter på til kaffeslabberaset. Ikke nærm deg Wolfram Trio hvis du ikke mener det. Vær for all del obs på Wolfram-bikkja.

Leave a Review