Inspired early in his creative life by Jan Garbarek and by Edward Vesala, Trygve Seim has worked in many modern jazz contexts. In his own music, however, distance from conventional definitions of jazz is recalibrated with each project. Investigation of Asian, Middle Eastern and East European music – and especially the sounds of the Armenian duduk, the Japanese shakuhachi, and the Indian bansuri flute – have had their impact on Seim’s music. Subtle shadings and textures are part of his palette, and microtonal phrasing characteristic of his melodic approach, as he glide and slurs between the notes. At the same time, though, it is possible to listen to Trygve’s breathy tenor on the ballads here and perceive occasional echoes of Ben Webster in the sound, in the tenderness and depth of feeling.
Born 1973, Andreas Utnem has received some international attention through his work with the trio of Norwegian folk fiddler Gjermund Larsen (who, incidentally, also plays with Christian Wallumrød – see the CD “Fabula Suite Lugano”. Parenthetically, it may also be noted that both Wallumrød and a third ECM pianist, Tord Gustavsen, have also played in the weekday mass in the Toyen church. In the North, where folk music is frequently adopted and adapted in religious contexts, the ‘borders’ between idioms may be more porous). Alongside work as church musician and composer of music for theatre and TV dramas, both in Norway and Sweden, Utnem also plays in the jazz quartet of guitarist Bjørn Klakegg.