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På skive

TRONDHEIM JAZZ ORCHESTRA & THE MAXX

«Live»
MNJ RECORDS, MNJLP002

Let three young Swedes to jam through hours in a studio in a deserted German bunker in Trondheim, add the prestigious Jazz talent award (JazZtipendiatet) from Molde International Jazz Festival that guaranteed performance with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (TJO) in the 2018 edition of the Molde festival, and invite few local heavyweights and you get the volatile «Live».

The three Swedes – The MaXx – are keyboards player Oscar Grönberg, guitarist and tenor sax player Petter Kraft and drummer Tomas Järmyr. They met at the NTNU, Trondheim’s prestigious music academy, live in Trondheim for about 10 years and active in local bands like Megalodon Collective, Team Hegdal, Hanna Paulsberg Concept, Yodok, and Motorpsycho. The MaXx developed a powerful compound based on rhythmic riffs and sudden musical shifts.

The MaXx invited for the project with TJO two colleagues from NTNU – guitarist Anton Toorell and trombone player Petter Hängsel, local heroes as Danish alto sax player Mette Rasmussen, tenor sax player Kjetil Møster, trumpeter Thomas Johansson and keyboards player Anja Lauvdal, and Grönberg and Järmyr’s comrade from Doffs Poi, sensational vocalist Mia Marlen Berg, now a member of Trondheim Voices.

«Live» welds The MaXx’ reckless powerhouse aesthetics into the refined one of TJO. The music revolves loosely around themes dealing with youth’s fascination for dystopian sci-fi, involuntary heroes, and time travels. But it may be wiser to describe «Live» as an amplified celebration of undisguised energy. It begins with a sensual and exotic introduction to the opening piece «Jazzballaden» but soon intensifies with blistering solos of Møster and Johansson, pushed by the mighty drumming of Järmyr. Things get hotter and funkier on the following «Orgelblå», highlighted by the ecstatic solo of Hängsel and the delivery of Marlen Berg, who, naturally takes the leading role with her charismatic performance. Kraft and Marlen Berg sing the brief «Hystericon», paying homage to the British folk-rock legacy. Then The MaXx’ and TJO simply explode on the two-parts «Time Taxi», with its irresistible, driving rock energy, fantastic solo of Rasmussen, and another great vocal delivery of Marlen Berg.

Turn the volume to The MaXx!

Eyal Hareuveni

Oscar Grönberg (keys), Petter Kraft (g, ts, v), Tomas Järmyr (dr), Mia Marlen Berg (v), Thomas Johansson (tp), Petter Hängsel (tb,  rec), Mette Rasmussen (as), Kjetil Møster (ts), Anton Toorell (g), Anja Lauvdal (keys), Mattis Kleppen (b)

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