With Norway, we Europeans living in the south link combine with open landscape, fjords deeply carved into the landscape, and midsummer festivals. The fact that an extensive jazz scene has established in the Northern Kingdom which scene is active all over the country and has produced internationally successful musicians such as Jan Gabarek and Terje Rypdal is not only familiar to European jazz fans. Responsible for the Nordic style of jazz are not least Sidsel Endresen, Eivind Aarset, Nils Petter Molvær and Bugge Wesseltoft, who has just released the solo-piano album "Everybody Loves Angels". With Petter Molvær, Bugge Wesseltoft founded a jazz quartet in the 80s, which attracted attention not least with the electronic futuristic effects that Bugge Wesseltoft elicited his Atari ST. The quite wild, sometimes uncivilized compositions for the quartet were the trigger for the New Conception of Jazz, which merged live electronic effects with conventional jazz, and supplied new generations of jazz musicians with new ammunition. In addition to this kind of ensemble jazz, Bugge Wesseltoft always remained faithful to the purely acoustic piano playing, as now on "Everybody Loves Angels" and in 1997 on the very successful album "It's Snowing On My Piano", the most beautiful Christmas CD in the history of the newer Jazz has been received.
As an acoustic framework, Wesseltoft chose a historic Norwegian wooden church, which gives the piano-solo project a very special aura of concentrated tranquility, which is otherwise only to be found in the vast forests of Norway, and which motivated the pianist in his improvisations about classical compositions and pop blockbusters apparently to spontaneous ideas, which the pianist delivers in a masterly manner in his characteristic reduction to the essentials under restrained ornamental ornamentation.
No less than Johann Sebastian Bach is Bugge Wesseltoft's model for his improvisations in "Koral". This giant of the classics is confronted by Wesseltoft to the pop greats Bob Dylan with "Blowin 'In The Wind," Simon & Garfunkel with "Bridge Over Troubled Water," Cat Stevens with "Morning Has Broken," and the Rolling Stones with "Angie". His view of these former hits goes far beyond the otherwise usual covers, thanks to the improvisational art of the Norwegian pianist, up to the limits of new compositions and beyond. The creators of these templates which today are almost worn out - Bach, of course, remains sidelined - would have their joy – what also applies for Bach - with the new creations of Bugge Wesseltoft.
The ACT label, with the recording engineer Asle Karstad and Ulf Holand, responsible for mixing, supervised by the producer Siggi Loch, found the optimal partners to capture the special atmosphere of the Norwegian wooden church, which inspired Bugge Wesseltoft to the climax of his improvisational art.
Bugge Wesseltoft, piano