Under the Clouds Nordic Circles

Album info



Album including Album cover


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  • 1Under the Clouds02:55
  • 2A Beautiful Smile04:51
  • 3Special One07:27
  • 4Searching for Meaning03:49
  • 5Another Heart05:56
  • 6Ahimsa03:59
  • 7Orvieto05:03
  • 8Om Natten02:09
  • 9School Dance04:10
  • Total Runtime40:19

Info for Under the Clouds

Nordic Circles is a new and unique nordic jazz project. The core idea is to bring together the elite of known and unknown Nordic jazz musicians in a collaborative and spontaneous process to create a unique expression that highlights nordic improvisational music.

Winter Rainbow is the first release in a series of recordings that will feature unique constellations of nordic top musicians.

This recording combines the melancolic beauty in Tore Johansen´s trumpet playing and Helge Lien´s brilliant playfullness on the piano, with Per Orvang´s warm and atmospherical guitar playing. The complexity of this trio rests on a steady and dynamic rhythmical foundation, built by Anders Ljungberg and Anders Thorén.

Stylistically the music can be placed in the lyrical part of the spectrum. The material is written by the majority of the quintet to achieve greater depth of music that clearly represents the uniqueness of this collaborative project.

The recording took place in Rainbow Studio in Oslo, September 2014, with the legendary sound engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug.

"An album of deep but buried emotion, contemplative and atmospheric." (Patrick Hadfield, London Jazz News, UK)

"A cool and colourful beauty of an album" (Per A. Risnes jr.)

"Beautiful and melodic music performed by top-musicians" (Tor Hammerø / Tor de jazz (NO)

Helge Lien, piano
Tore Johansen, trumpet
Per Orvang, guitar
Anders Ljungberg, bass
Anders Thorén, drums

is a Norwegian project conceived to bring together familiar and young performers from the Nordic jazz scene – and Under the Clouds (following first release Winter Rainbow) presents a balmy strand of cool, often meditative sounds from a sextet which features the gossamer vocal tonality of Siril Malmedal Hauge.

Established musicians Lars Jansson (piano), Jacob Young (guitar) and Jesper Bodilsen (bass) nestle alongside rising saxophonist Magnus Bakken and drummer/producer Anders Thorén to express nine mostly original compositions (either from Jansson or Bodilsen) which breathe life and light, principally through warm, easy-going conviviality rather than hard grooving. Nevertheless, the crystal-clear enunciation of Hauge – at times, reminiscent of Norah Jones – adds soft folk/jazz charm to atmospheres which seem to evoke the onset of shorter days (suggested by swirling Autumnal cover art).

Specific lyric-based songs such as homely, lilting A Beautiful Smile and buoyant waltz, Another Heart, are melodically memorable; and fireside miniature Om Natten (At Night), attributed to Swedish singer-songwriter Olle Adolphson, hints at deep-rooted tradition. But piano-led instrumentals anchor this album in accessible, feel-good jazz, Magnus Bakken’s rich, direct tenor lines in buoyant Special One only embellished by the subtlest vibrato. Hauge’s wordless tones enfold the guitar-and-piano dreaminess of Ahimsa as well as blithe, sunshiny Orvieto; Jansson’s pellucid, almost levitational piano in freely-improvised Searching for Meaning hints at the quieter oases of Rick Wakeman’s music; whilst sparkling, high-flying bopper School Dance closes with infectious Herbie Hancock-like fervour.

From a series whose harmonious aims are to be admired, and which hopefully will continue, Under the Clouds does indeed suggest candlelit mindfulness and cheer as the nights draw in.

This album contains no booklet.

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