KORNSTAD: Dwell Time (Jazzland Recordings)

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Posted on Jan 5th 2010 12:58 am

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Kornstad: Dwell Time

KORNSTAD
Dwell Time
2709710
Jazzland Recordings 2009
08 Tracks. 44mins08secs

Amazon UK: CD Amazon US: CD

“Håkon Kornstad: lives in Oslo, plays the saxophone”. This simple statement, lifted from Håkon Kornstad’s website, is a perfect illustration of what his latest solo album is all about. Far from the complex rhythmic patterns of Wibutee, the feverish élans of the Håkon Kornstad Trio or even the atmospheric tones of his collaborations with Håvard Wiik, Kornstad creates with Dwell Time an album all in nuanced brushes, elegant motifs and absorbing claire-obscure.

The follow up to Kornstad’s 2007 Single Engine album, Dwell Time stems from a very different approach. Recorded in the Sofienberg Church in Oslo – Arve Henriksen recorded part of his 2001 album Sakuteiki there – and entirely improvised, Dwell Time sees Håkon Kornstad focussing on the most introvert part of his work and bring the full emotional scope of his music to life. Sole in charge, with only loops and discreet effects to occasionally expand on his sound sources and create an impression of volume, Kornstad occupies as little or as much of the space as he wishes, carefully balancing elements against each other to retain the fragility of the overall work.

Switching between tenor sax, bass sax, flute and flutonette, a flute/clarinet hybrid, Kornstad weaves delicate melodies into eight deeply emotional and evocative pieces, creating a wonderfully homogenous atmospheric patchwork of sounds and tones. Here, even more so than on Single Engine, Kornstad never forces melodies, or goes against the grain, fights rhythms or openly breaches conventions. Instead, he lets the natural flow of his performance lead and guides him through the meanders of his improvisations to slowly add layers or take away any unnecessary component to give substance to his music. Dwell Time relies on Kornstad’s instrumental technique and technological know-how, yet these are barely felt. Although distinct, the tracks appear to complement each other, here accentuating a particular mood, there placing a tasteful contrasting tone. From the breezy opening Still One and Oslo to the radiant En Attendant Le Soleil, from the more sombre Noir or Klaff to the airy poetry of Mongrel or Wipeout and the vast expanses of Streamer, Kornstad creates a totally immersive impressionist soundtrack in which the mind is free to wander and explore at length and at will.

An accomplished musician and composer, Håkon Kornstad has played with some of the most renowned Scandinavian jazz artists, and, as a formation leader, has often bridged the gap between classic jazz and more contemporary form. Here though, the music is stripped bare, with little or no artifice to distract from it, yet Kornstad creates incredible rich and evocative motifs throughout, making this his most personal and intimate record to date.

5/5

Håkon Kornstad | Håkon Kornstad (MySpace) | Jazzland Recordings
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One Response to “KORNSTAD: Dwell Time (Jazzland Recordings)”

  1. […] of extremely delicate acoustic pieces centred around tenor and bass sax, flutes and melodica. On Dwell Time, which followed two years later, again on Jazzland, Kornstad took on a different approach as he […]