Pet Zoo is an ad-hoc quartet comprised of three Norwegians plus one Swede (who also resides in Norway), all are experienced and resourceful musicians who crisscrossing constantly between free-improvised projects and free-jazz and modern jazz outfits. The quartet features sax player André Roligheten, known from the duo Albatrosh, the modern jazz groups Team Hegdal, Friends & Neighbors, drummer Gard Nilssen’s Acoustic Unity and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra; guitarist Stian Larsen who plays in the guitar duo kÖök and the Norwegian-British power trio KTHXBYE; bass player Adrian Myhr who plays in the free-improv groups Oker and Whirl and with Dr. Kay & His Interstellar Tone Scientists and the Swede, Trondheim-based drummer Tomas Järmyr who recently joined Motopsycho and plays with the YODOK trio and the Italian Zu trio.
Pet Zoo debut album was recorded live at the Blæst club in Trondheim on September 2015 as part of the Pøkk concert series. The album was mastered by Swedish reeds player Jonas Kullhammar and its cover was designed by Lasse Marhaug. «Pøkk» offers two untitled pieces, the first one 28-minutes long and the second almost six-minutes long. Roligheten set the fast-shifting, nervous dynamics of the first piece, full of sudden twists between sparse, sometimes even lyrical but more often intense sonic searches, all stress the immediate, organic interplay of this quartet. After a series of loose, chaotic sonic searches Pet Zoo interplay gels instantly into a volcanic, muscular free jazz eruption, but disperses soon back to a minimalist, abstract mode, informed by Larsen, Myhr and Järmyr employment of various extended techniques. Now Pet Zoo builds patiently the tension and the momentum, with a breathtaking – literally – solo of Roligheten who demonstrates his circular breathing technique. The second piece is less energetic, suggesting a free-associative improvisation that explores noisy and industrial sonic terrains, still a playful and inventive one.
André Roligheten (s), Stian Larsen (g), Adrian Myhr (b), Tomas Järmyr (dr)