Prolific Norwegian bass player Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is often associated with intense and highly energetic, sometimes even manic playing of the double bass and the electric bass that few others can match. And rightly so. Just check his crucial role in the now-defunct The Thing and Scorch Trio or the still-active Icepick trio. But Håker Flaten is a much varied and resourceful musician than this powerful, frenzied side of him. You can begin exploring his intimate duets with Joe McPhee or his role with the Swedish-Norwegian Atomic quintet.
«Til Anna», Håker Flaten’s fourth solo album, offers more nuances of Håker Flaten musical personality, contemplative and openly emotional ones. Håker Flaten recorded this album live, during a Sonic Transmissions Festival fundraiser at The Treehouse in Austin, Texas, in April 2019, a month before the confirmation ceremony of his niece and godchild, Anna Flaten-Hoff (the daughter of his twin brother). He could not attend the ceremony due to his tight touring schedule, so he made her an original gift, two compositions for solo double bass. He released «Til Anna» earlier this year on his Bandcamp page but recently asked Lasse Marhaug to re-master the recording for a vinyl edition that will celebrate the launch of his independent label, Sonic Transmissions Records in Trondheim.
The first piece «Confirmation» is a gentle and introspective one, but, still, calls for a very physical playing. Håker Flaten sounds as if he singing through his bass and its dark tones and overtones, patiently building the lyrical, emotional drama. The following piece «Abstractions» demonstrates his exquisite arco playing, creating chamber-like multiphonics as a kind of an imaginative choir singing at the confirmation ceremony. Later he sings a beautiful, sentimental theme that settles on a driving groove, now in pizzicato playing.
A priceless gift, literally.
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (b)