Arve Henriksen

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Arve Henriksen
LABELS: Rune Grommofon
ALBUM TITLE: The Nature of Connections
WORKS: The Nature of Connections
PERFORMER: Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Nils Økland, Gjermund Larsen (violin), Svante Henryson (cello), Mats Eilertson (bass), Audun Kleive (drums)


Connections indeed. This excellent album is like an elegant railway system linking jazz, folk, tango, Berlin cabaret music, middle- eastern music and the chamber music style of the post-serialist 20th-century conservatoire. But to describe it as such gives the impression of overcooking when in fact the whole project is a masterpiece of subtlety.

Henriksen’s take on the lineage of the cool, spacey trumpet is less than conventional here, seeing him summoning woodwind-like tones from the instrument which float benignly over the sound of a string-driven ensemble that in its turn adds a rich and not entirely predictable harmonic foundation to the music. The surprises, when they come, are effective but discreet: a gamelan-like riff is played as pizzicato harmonics, a delicate curlicue of a bass line underpins what sounds like a Gaelic lament, and a close-knit ensemble passage develops from a single phrase. The recorded sound balances detail and warmth.


Roger Thomas