Nils Petter Molvaer – Hamada

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Nils Petter Molvaer
LABELS: Sula
PERFORMER: Nils Petter Molvaer (trumpet), Elvind Aarset (guitars), Audun Erlien (bass), Audun Kleive (drums)
CATALOGUE NO: 602527020419

Advertisement

The accompanying press release describes this album as angry and dark. Are its author and I talking about the same recording? I’d say it’s entirely typical of the trumpeter’s work, being mainly devoted to his usual approach of laying limpid, elegant melodic lines over rich textural backgrounds with extremely pleasing results.

Interestingly, what makes said results so pleasing is the fact that Molvaer never lets go of the kind of jazz sensibility that stops his music from degenerating into ambient mush; subtle tonal inflections, a judicious rubato and the breathy, intimate warmth of a real musician playing a real instrument dominate his execution.

Advertisement

A couple of more forceful and intense pieces are included, which may be where this ‘dark’ thing comes from, but the tracks in question sound oddly muddy and constricted. But the disc is truly excellent in all other respects. Roger Thomas