The Mystery Unfolds

COMPOSERS: Petter Wettre Trio
PERFORMER: Petter Wettre (ss, ts), Ingebrught Flaten (b), Jarle Vespestad (d); plus guests Trygve Seim (ss), Mahatma Bubb (shenai), Jurgen Munkeby (f)


Although there’s been an unseemly rush to embrace musical detritus from other forms – be it hip hop beats or world music blarney – as the best way forward for new jazz, more creative souls within the music continue to come up with fresh and profound results from familiar resources.

Consider these two groups, separated by an ocean or two. Both are utterly acoustic, work from compositional bases and depend on familiar verities like strong improvising and imaginative writing. Yet both sound absolutely of the moment.

Petter Wettre, the lanky tenorman from Oslo, is content with relatively simple procedures for most of the time. The sax-bass-drums trinity has been a dependably exciting combination since the Sonny Rollins trios of 1956-7. What Wettre and his cohorts do is roast their material until it’s all but squeaking.

This third album by the group isn’t quite as hell-for-leather as the previous two, a little more produced, maybe a tad more considered, but the finesse of the group is astounding even when they’re going at full throttle.


Wettre’s explosively garrulous delivery is exciting, but Vespestad’s drumming is even more extraordinary: if there’s another sticksman who combines furious momentum with flair and even delicacy as well as this, he should make himself known. A pair of releases to give any listener fresh heart.