Atomic gjør USA

Det norsk/svenske bandet Atomic har nettopp vært på turné I USA, og skal man tro New York City Jazz Records, så gikk ikke starten på turneen helt etter planen. Håvard Wiik hadde problemer med sitt visa til USA, og måtte stå over første konsert, men regnet med å komme etter til resten av turneen.

Men her er hva redaktør Andrew Henkin I New York Jazz Records, et utmerket gratis jazzmagasin som dekker New York-jazzen på en fremragende mate, skrev om konserten:

«Eight years (minus two days) since their first and only New York City appearance, Nordic group Atomic arrived for a followup at ShapeShifter Lab (Feb. 3rd), albeit in a different format, both intentional and as victim to the vagaries of international travel. The quintet, with new drummer Hans Hulbækmo taking over for Paal Nilssen-Love, was temporarily a quartet, pianist Håvard Wiik sorting out visa issues in order to join the rest of the U.S. tour. The result was a freebopping group quite different than the current work of bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, saxophonist/clarinetist Fredrik Ljungkvist and trumpeter Magnus Broo. The analog that kept coming to this reviewer’s mind was the mighty Bill Barron-Ted Curson Quartet of the mid ‘60s. The pluckiness of the melodies was more apparent without the knottiness of Wiik behind

them and Hulbækmo is a very straightforward drummer. If Flaten’s muscularity was still present, it was in service of a much more rhythmic function (a marked departure from his improvised bass duet at JACK from January). What marked them as a modern group was the way they handled structure: there were heads and solos but often hanging together loosely, even within relatively compact renditions (eight to ten minutes). During the frontline solos of the last piece, a fast-walking fanfare, another comparison presented itself: Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter in Art Blakey’s late ‘50s Jazz Messengers. I guess that’s why the band is called Atomic, not Nuclear».