Norwegian guitarist Odd Steinar Albrigtsen recently finished his masters degree in jazz studies at the Aaron Copland School of Music in York. His debut solo album «Mode» reflect the seminal influence of the New York jazz scene on his music. The album was recorded at the acclaimed Rainbow Studio in Oslo and later mixed and mastered in another famed studio, Avatar Studios in New York, by one of the leading jazz engineers in New York, Katsuhiko Naito.
«Mode» feature Catalan, New York-based tenor sax player Gianni Gagliardi, member of Albrigtsen New York 4tet, three colleagues from his Norwegian OSA Quartet – alto sax player Kasper Værnes, double bass player Trygve Fiske and drummer Tore Sandbakken plus pianist Erlend Slettevoll, all experienced musicians on their own right. The album is the debut one on Albrigtsen newly founded label, Recorda Records.
As can be expected, the sound of the album is fantastic, detailed and rich and feels as if Albrigtsen sextet plays in your room. The six compositions stress Albrigtsen role as an assured leader, a musician with impressive technique and with a warm, highly melodic tone. Albrigtsen compositions usually follow the American traditional jazz formula of head-solos-head structure. But when he adopts a more irreverent approach, as on the ballad «Charlie’s War» and the Latin-tinged «Chorizo», and enables more space for personal contributions, his sextet shows some of its enormous potential. Slettevoll and Fiske charge these compositions with impressive solos, solidifying Albrigtsen already established emphatic interplay with his Norwegian colleagues. But again, these touching pieces are drawn back into somewhat predictable post-bop narrative when Gagliardi adds his solos.
Odd Steinar Albrigtsen (g), Gianni Gagliardi (ts), Kasper Værnes (as), Erlend Slettevoll (p), Trygve Fiske (b), Tore Sandbakken (dr)