Danish-Faroese-Icelandic, Copenhagen-based double bass player-composer Richard Andersson formed his Icelandic trio NOR in 2013 with tenor sax player Oskar Gudjonsson, who also plays in the trio of American drummer Jim Black, and drummer Matthias Hemstock, who has played with Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson. The trio released its debut album, «Nor» (Hobby Horse, 2017), last year and Andersson tells that after spending so much time together on stage – more than 70 concerts all over Scandinavia – and in studio this trio «feels almost as if we have become a family».
The familiar bond that ties these musicians has another side. All are dedicated family fathers and Andersson himself became a father for the fourth time so he chose the title «The Six of Us» as homage to his family. The trio does sound as a tight unit, with a strong, emphatic interplay, as of a close family but of the Scandinavian kind, well-behaved, quiet and gentle.
Andersson wrote all the pieces and the trio recorded the album in the small icelandic village Fludir (Flúðir) on april 2018. The trio incorporates the peaceful spirit of the beautiful countryside scenery of the studio and cements Andersson compositions with clear, lyrical and emotional atmosphere. Only the opening piece «Julli Gummi» has a playful, rhythmic structure, but other piece opt for a more subtle interplay, stressing the caressing, soft tone of Gudjonsson and the open, loose rhythmic games of Andersson and Hemstock. The emotional impact of such Nordic ballads as «Little Brother», the title-piece and «The Extra Mile» is immediate. These pieces lure you into their own innocent yet suggestive sonic universes, embrace you with its colorful interplay and any attempt to resist its emotional spirit would be futile.
Oskar Gudjonsson (s), Matthias Hemstock (dr), Richard Andersson (b)