(This short review was originally published in Jazz Journal in 2013.)
Håkon Thelin (bass)
Marco Rogliano (violin)
Frank Havrøy (voice)
Atterklang AKLANG 303 2008-2011
Is this jazz? Probably not, in the opinion of most. This fascinating album is a modern classical/”new music”/avant garde experimental exploration of the bass that will change your preconceptions of the possibilities of the instrument. Maybe. Thelin’s vision is personal and unpredictable and by his own admission this lighthouse-inspired suite is an expression of his own peculiar internal musical voice. So, if you’re looking for swing, or bebop, or even free, you won’t find it here. But if you stick around to listen closely, you will find an eccentric audio journey that is arresting, challenging and at times quite beautiful.
ADDENDUM: Bass fans might want to pop over to Håkon Thelin’s own site for an elegant and technical explanation of the making of this disc: http://haakonthelin.com/multiphonics/new-techniques-new-works/light
(Proofreading is essential: after sending this copy off for publication, I noticed a small but important typo… describing this album as and, “experimental exploration of the ass…”! I caught it in time, although I think the JJ editor wishes I hadn’t!)