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På skive


«Xanthic Tales»
«While You Wait»
ACT, 9982-2

Xanthic Tales is the first album documenting the international, free-improvising trio featuring Norwegian, Oslo-based young trumpet player Oscar Andreas Haug (who plays in Amalie Dahl’s Dafnie,  the Bliss Quartet and Little North), Swiss-Filipina, Copenhagen-based pianist Margaux Oswald (known for her duo albums with Danish trumpeter Kasper Tranberg and sax player Jesper Zeuthen, and a new members of the artist-run label and collective ILK) and Argentinian, Berlin-based drummer Axel Filip. The album was recorded in Copenhagen in February 2023, and its cover was made by Norwegian, Copenhagen-based guitarist Hein Westgaard.

This versatile trio melts Oswald’s sonic experimentations with the prepared piano, Haug’s exploration into the limits of the microtonal trumpet as well as his touching, ethereal lyricism and Filip’s free pulses. The trio sounds like it has been playing together for ages, as its dynamics are organic and egalitarian. The music flows naturally, with bold thematic ideas and a sense of adventurous urgency and timbral tension, and its interplay is rich with arresting yet quite challenging themes and tales, that have nothing to do with the yellow color despite the suggestive title of the album. The last piece, «Many a moon» captures this promising trio at its best, powerful, imaginative and daring.

Haug guests in the fifth album of the Danish young piano trio Little North – pianist Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen, double bass player Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen and drummer Lasse Jacobsen, Little North is rooted in the legacy of the Nordic jazz of such great pianists like Jan Johansson, Bobo Stenson, Bugge Wesseltoft, Esbjörn Svensson, known for stillness and spaciousness and a touch of melancholy. Little North attempts to enrich this great legacy with its own cinematic, song-like sound, full of twists and turns, with tasteful sparks of minimalist melancholy and enchanting beauty, especially the last piece «Embrace».

The music was composed by Little North and was recorded at The Village Recording in Copenhagen in October 2022. The atmosphere of While You Wait is much more reversed, introspective and thoughtful. Haug impresses here with his commanding, voice-like, ethereal timbre, at times following the seminal voices of Per Jørgensen and Arve Henriksen, and becomes an integral part of the close and emphatic, conversational and highly melodic dynamics of Little North.

Eyal Hareuveni 

Margaux Oswald (piano, prepared piano), Oscar Andreas Haug (trumpet), Axel Fillip (drums), Benjamin Nørholm Jacobsen (piano), Martin Brunbjerg Rasmussen (double bass), Lasse Jacobsen (drums)