The Norwegian Kjetil Mulelid Trio – featuring Copenhagen-based pianist-composer Kjetil André Mulelid, double bass player Bjørn Marius Hegge and drummer Andreas Skår Winther, may not guarantee enough money to buy a home from its debut album, certainly not in Norway and most likely nowhere else. But there is no reason to worry to these skilled, young musicians, still on the third decade of their lives, recording their first album together after one year of playing together.
Mulelid studied jazz performance at NTNU in Trondheim with teachers-pianists Vigleik Storaas and Espen Berg. He is also a member of the Waco quartet and co-leads the duo Kjemilie with singer Emilie Storaas. Hegge has his own quintet with pianist Storaas and Swedish saxophone player Jonas Kullhammar. Skår Winther plays in the Megalodon Collective and in the drums and sax duo Left Exit with Karl Hjalmar Nyberg.
This trio solidify the legacy of other Norwegian piano trio like In The Country, Espen Eriksen Trio and Eple Trio. The mood of Mulelid’s compositions is intimate and reserved and mostly lyrical and the interplay is organic, but this trio often offers a youthful, even humorous playfulness. Mulelid’s compositions reflect his rich, melodic language. These compositions are inspired by everything, from psalms, folk songs (on live shows the trio even covers «Dear Someone» by Gillian Welch) to modern jazz – especially «Fly, Fly» and «Leaving Home» that owe much to the Scandinavian Quartet of Keith Jarrett, still, there is enough room for open, collective improvisations.
The compositions that stand out are actually the ones that do not surrender to the trio playfulness. «You Stood There in Silence, Having no Words» does not follow the story-like narrative and offers a mysterious-poetic perspective. «From Someone Else’s Point of View» suggests only a glimpse into the inner drama but radiates beautifully the emotional turmoil. «Time breath» and the last piece, «Three Last Words», offer quiet, enigmatic meditations.
Kjetil A Mulelid (p), Bjørn Marius Hegge (b), Andreas Skår Winther (dr)