themilkman on Dec 22nd 2011 12:59 pm

The 2011 Review

As another year folds out, it is time once again to look back and take stock or the highs and lows, before a fresh year rolls in. 2011 has had its moments and has overall been a rather good year, and trying to extract a list of twenty albums from the hundreds, thousands possibly, that I have listened to, loved, hated, reviewed or not, tried to make sense of or misunderstood seems a pretty restrictive effort at best. Still, it is always good to look back and realise that some records have made more of a mark than others, some almost imperceptibly. So, here is, in twenty records, what 2011 was made of…

Jenny Hval: Viscera1.

Rune Grammofon


There is such urgency throughout this record that it is quite astonishing how Hval manages to retain any lightness in her music, but she does, and [Helge] Sten picks up on just enough to bring it all to life in sprightly bright colours and tones. Continue Reading »

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HÃ…KON KORNSTAD: Symphonies In My Head (Jazzland Recordings)

themilkman on Nov 15th 2011 01:38 am

HÃ¥kon Kornstad: Symphonies In My Head

Symphonies In My Head
Jazzland Recordings 2011
08 Tracks. 46mins36secs

Gube Music: DLD iTunes: DLD

Håkon Kornstad’s Symphonies In My Head is a rather ambitious attempt at capturing the music that the Norwegian saxophonist had in mind during this album’s gestation period. A founding member of Wibutee, a band with whom he has released four album between 1998 and 2006 and which, although never disbanded, has been dormant since, the Oslo-born musician has been busy with various other projects, including the trio he formed with Mats Eilertsen and Paal Nilssen-Love, and collaborative work with Nilssen-Love and Håvard Wiik amongst others.

In 2007, Kornstad published his first solo effort, Single Engine (Jazzland). Entirely improvised, and recorded in Bugge Wesseltoft’s studio over the course of six months, the album collected a series of extremely delicate acoustic pieces centred around tenor and bass sax, flutes and melodica. Continue Reading »

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KORNSTAD: Dwell Time (Jazzland Recordings)

themilkman on Jan 5th 2010 12:58 am

Kornstad: Dwell Time

Dwell Time
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 HÃ¥kon Kornstad focussing on the most introvert part of his work and bring the full emotional scope of his music to life. Continue Reading »

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