MORILD — Nordic landscapes (review)

MORILD — Nordic landscapes album cover Album · 2018 · Post-Fusion Contemporary Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
Geographically speaking, jazz music has traveled a long ways since its birth in New Orleans long ago. As the jazz tradition moves throughout the globe it takes on different characteristics depending on the region that has adopted it next. There is no mistaking the distinct sounds of jazz from Cuba (Afro-Cuban), Brazil (bossa nova), Jamaica (ska) and England (acid jazz), which leads us to this new CD, “Nordic Landscapes”, by Morild, which features the contemporary sounds of Nordic jazz. As displayed by the music on this CD, Nordic jazz is a ‘cool’ jazz that emphasizes melody over technical solos and reflects the icy cold, yet beautiful windswept wide open landscapes and mountains of these two artists’ homelands. This is jazz for quiet reflection by the fireside, where the thoughtful melodies will help keep you warm through those long winter nights.

Morild is made up of two master musicians, Dag Einer Eilertsen on tenor trombone and Marius Noss Gundersen on classical guitar. Eilersten’s tenor trombone sounds a bit like a more mellow trumpet, which Dag plays with a breathy sound similar to Nils Petter Molvaer or 60s era Miles Davis. When Dag attaches a mute to the horn, it furthers the association with Miles in his cool mode. Gundersen is well versed in technical guitar skills as he is quite fluid in both classical music and bossa nova, but he keeps his technique in check on here as he supplies only what is needed to back up Dag’s plaintive melodies. As mentioned earlier, this is a music about inner reflection, not outward flash, Nordic soul music if you will.

All of the tunes on “Nordic Landscape” are originals, yet many carry a depth that would imply more history than just this year. Some standout tracks include “Voringsfassen”, which has a bit of Spanish heat to it, “Floyen” with its hint of bluesy jazz and “Molen”, which almost sounds like a familiar standard, but checking the credits, it is a Eilertsen original. This CD is highly recommended for fans of contemporary North European jazz, the melodic content you seek will be found in these musical tributes to the wide open landscapes of the far north.
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