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The Norwegian trio Eple Trio – pianist Andreas Ulvo, double bass player Sigurd Hole and drummer Jonas Sjøvaag – is one of the groups that justifies the term Nordic jazz. The Eple Trio has developed throughout 13 years of activity a distinct and highly original compositional methods, improvisational dynamics and sound of its own – often quite reserved ones, usually an inclusive ones and always profound.

«5», obviously the fifth release of the trio, proves even further that Eple Trio is one of its kind. The cumulative experiences of the trio musicians – in different collaborations as the Eple Sextet, with the duo Vilde&Inga (live recordings that are offered at the Trio bandcamp page) or with sax player Karl Seglem, trumpeter Mathias Eick and pianist Tord Gustavsen – enabled Eple Trio to experiment even more with form and structures. All while keeping the tension between the strong melodic themes and harmonic development and the subtle rhythmic pulse.

«5», more than previous albums of Eple Trio, highlight the classical background of the trio. The slow-motion spirit of compositions as Ulvo’s «Alea» stresses the trio current focus on exploring new aspects of form and narrative development, as a trio of equals, where all shape the melodic core, build the tension and suggest a subtle, elusive pulse. The minimalist pulse on Ulvo’s “Close Your Eyes” develops in a manner that the trio describes as a composition of Arvo Pärt played by the Scandinavian quartet of Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek.

Sjøvaag’s «Curious Child» is inspired by Robert Schumann’s «Kinderszenen» and Sjøvaag’s past as a classical pianist. This composition creates a precise, almost mathematical dynamics that demands the musicians to play with and against each other at the same time. Hole’s only composition “Azzahra” experiments with different classical tradition, the Middle-Eastern, and offers a rhythmic improvisation where his bass and Sjøvaag’s drums take the lead.

Other composition as Ulvo’s, lyrical «Field of Home» or Sjøvaag’s cinematic «Turnpike» and the touching «Andvare» have an immediate emotional impact that. These compositions may convince you that you have already known and sang these melodies ages ago, long before they linger forever in your mind.

Eyal Hareuveni

Andreas Ulvo (p), Sigurd Hole (b), Jonas Sjøvaag (dr)

Intergalactic Sunrise // Eple Trio from jonassjovaag on Vimeo.

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