Ut av det nye is the sixth album of the Norwegian acoustic jazz quartet Wako and celebrates its tenth anniversary in a way (or several ways) that sums up its journey so far. As on previous albums of Wako, the music, written by sax player Martin Myhre Olsen and pianist Kjetil André Mulelid with one ballad by double bass player Bárður Reinert Poulsen, swings between engaging romance and brief doses of raw energy. Wako likes to intertwine order and chaos, dissonance and consonance, light and shadow, and other forms of madness and harmony, but in its own unique and reserved way. The cover art by Swedish illustrator-painter Julia Stenberg hints at the emotional, reflexive mood of the new album.
The four musicians – Myhre Olsen, Mulelid, Poulsen and drummer Simon Olderskog Albertsen, are good friends, now in their early thirties, and are mature, experienced end busy musicians who play with authority and personal voices of their own. These musicians play with other local bands like Hegge (Myhre Olsen and Albertsen), Megalodon Collective (Myhre Olsen), Flukten (Poulsen), Karl Bjorå’s Aperture (Poulsen) and Espen Berg Trio (Poulsen and Albertsen), as well as with artists Siril Malmedal Hauge (Myhre Olsen).
Ut av det nye was recorded at Store Studio in Bodø in January 2022 and features nine short pieces, leaning strongly toward the reflexive, balladic side, and rooted in the legacy of Nordic jazz. The album begins with Myhre Olsen’s playful ballad «Isabella» which stresses the thoughtful and well-coordinated interplay of Wako. Mulelid’s «Pieb Yalu» adds small doses of energy and revolves around a catchy rhythmic pattern that he and Myhre Olsen develop. Mulelid’s ballad «Alice» has a touching, melancholic aroma and both feature beautiful solos of Mulelid. His gentle, playful melody «F & F» allows Myhre Olsen to soar higher and higher.
Poulsen’s «Løgmannabreyt» is a most beautiful ballad, and its suggestive-minimalist and sparse mood only intensify its emotional impact. Myhre Olsen’s «Alt Det Vi Tapte» offers a bit of a pompous drama and is led by his urgent, snaky sax lines, but his ballad «Et Siste Farvel» highlights the way he sings this melancholic, farewell melody. Mulelid deepens this balladic veins with the quiet but dramatic story of «Lois Napoo». Myhre Olsen’s «Vi Sendte Dem Alle Bort» concludes this impressive album with another emotional and contemplative ballad that cements, again, the close dynamics of Wako.
Kjetil Mulelid (p), Martin Myhre Olsen (s), Bárður Reinert Poulsen (b), Simon Olderskog Albertsen (dr)