It’s that time of year again. Time to say thanks to those musicians who have stirred my head, heart and feet over the past 12 months. As always, I’ve only heard a fraction of the new releases and I’m sure there’s plenty more good stuff out there that I’ve missed. So....in no particular order.....
Team Hegdal – Vol 4 (Particular Recordings)
A band that fall into the category ‘deserving wider recognition’. Team Hegdal Vol 3 was one of my Picks of 2015. And I make no apology for adding Vol 4 to my list for 2017.
There’s something about the way a number of Scandinavian jazz musicians have integrated past and present. This isn’t your fragile Nordic ambience. If anything these are sounds closer to Chicago. This is thorny free-bop.
Eirik Hegdal and Andre Roligheten, reeds, Oscar Gronberg, piano, Ole Morten Vagen, bass and Gard Nilssen, drums; four Norwegians and one Swede, interpreting 13 compositions from Eirik Hegdal, a musician best known for directing the prestigious Trondheim Jazz Orchestra from 2002 to 2016. The reedsmen split their time between a range of clarinets and saxophones to add variety to the group sound. And Eirik assures me that the cover image is not a self portrait. Although he did paint it. Roll on Vol 5.