Eight bars into this wholly captivating album and you know that you’re in safe hands. You intuitively know that the remainder of this music will also be delivered with clarity, with craftsmanship and with creativity.
In Being, pianist Eyolf Dale, bassist Per Zanussi and drummer Audun Kleive combine their considerable forces to produce a musical tour de force. Eyolf: Being is about being in the moment, about living and about being present”.
Eyolf Dale has released a number of albums to critical acclaim and during the last 10 years, has toured the world with numerous projects. He composed all the music for this album and has also written for his cherished Wolf Valley Octet, big bands, orchestras, the Albatrosh Duo, and for several other ensembles.
Internationally celebrated and “Buddy Prize” (2018) winning drummer Audun Kleive has participated in nearly 200 albums since the early 80’s, many of them for ECM Records. Such appearances include those with Terje Rypdal, Jon Balke, Charles Lloyd and Marilyn Mazur.
Per Zanussi has a Masters degree in music and in 2017 completed his PhD level research project ”Natural Patterns – Music Making with an Ensemble of Improvisers”. He has recorded and toured worldwide with a prodigious range of projects.
Suspended chords and wistful melodic lines conjure up images of The Lonely Banker – in limbo. Are materialistic values more likely to make you happier or otherwise? What is this banker banking?!
Northern Brewer is a delightfully arranged, fast-flowing piece showcasing the trio’s collaborative strengths which include exquisite brushwork from Audun. The title comes from a type of hop used in the brewing of beer.
Behind 315 is an evocative and haunting piece, augmented by Per’s heroic idiophonic overdubs (courtesy of a musical saw!). Eyolf studied under maestro Misha Alperin who had an office numbered, 315. Amongst the many concepts he taught, ‘being totally present in the moment’ was one of the most important.
Forward from here is, in Eyolf’s words, “a quirky 5/4 groove combined with a theme inspired by American ‘Exotica’ from the ‘50s”.
The Pondering opens with a contemplative repeated note that becomes engulfed in a series of equally pensive, colourful chords. The melodic lines are similarly constructed – creating an enigmatic feel perhaps related to assessment and resolution, although the music is ultimately unresolved. A picturesque piece, presented with delicacy and sensitivity.
As with many of Eyolf’s compositions, Fast forward, peace of mind is a journey to the unexpected. Pianistic twists and turns played over a vibrant and vigorous bass and drums groove. Originally, the main theme was taken from a piano concerto Eyof has written (premiering this fall) and shaped into a tune for the trio.
A quirky and dynamic tune, Ace typifies the trio’s ability to work their individual lines and yet stay comfortably in ‘band mode’. ‘Ess’ is the key of Eb in Norwegian and is pronounced in the same way as the ace in a pack of cards. The tune is, naturally, written in the key of Eb!
How could it be concludes this utterly enchanting album and features searching, tuneful, technically dexterous solos from Per and Eyolf. The music probes possible futures and concludes with a gentle, hopeful ‘question’. The album’s first piece is in the key of ‘G major’ as is the final piece – but is the final chord for the listener to decide?