Since 1999 the Norwegian Motif band has surprised listeners with their energetic, intelligent approach to experimental jazz, bridging free, structured, and collective approaches to improvised music, here as a sextet of trumpet/sax/clarinet/piano/bass/drums.
Motif (Lonning / Nymo / Thieke / Wilk / Johansen / Vagan)
My Head is Listening
Label: Clean Feed
Released in: Portugal
"When you have a band mainly formed by Scandinavian musicians, natural is to find that they played, or play, with the top names of Nordic jazz, people like Jan Garbarek, Terje Rypdal, Bugge Wesseltoft, Sidsel Endresen, Trygve Seim and Bobo Stenson. But the members of Motif have a relevance which surpasses geographic and musical boundaries, and other lists of collaborations appear, from the american icons Lee Konitz, Kenny Wheeler, Chick Corea, Joe Lovano, Joshua Redman and Jason Moran to activists of experimental improvisation like Axel Dorner, Akira Sakata, Jim O'Rourke, Tobias Delius, Rudi Mahall and Tony Buck.
This means the music isn't local, but global, and crosses tendencies. In the case of this super-sextet the point of departure is a powerful and swinging hard bop, going through the most committed free jazz and entering in the fields of total improvisation. You'll find aspects of all this in "My Head is Listening": linear phrasings versus abstract textures, suggestive melodies versus acoustic noise and feet-agitating rhythms versus deconstructed pulsations, in disrespect of the divisions between mainstream and avant-garde. Nothing is forbidden, everything is possible."-Clean Feed
• Show Bio for Eivind Lonning
"Eivind Lønning, born 1983, living in Oslo, is one of the most prominent and active young musicians on the Norwegian creative music scene, playing in bands like Streifenjunko, Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, Motif, Koboku Senju, and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Eivind grew up playing classical trumpet, his education contains a jazz bachelor from the Trondheim Conservatory and a master degree in improvised music from the Academy of Music in Oslo. He is experienced in both jazz and classical music, and has developed a very personal sound with unusual melodic qualities.
In the duo Streifenjunko with sax player Espen Reinertsen, Eivind Lønning has worked with modern improvisation and extended playing techniques for the trumpet. They have worked closely together for many years to present a truly unique repertoire, a mix between composed structures and improvisations, and have collaborated with Keith Rowe, Tetuzi Akiyama, Toshimaru Nakamura, Jim Denley, Christian Wallumrød, Sidsel Endresen and video artist Kjell Bjørgeengen. During the last few years, Streifenjunko have played more than 100 concerts all over the world, including Japan, USA, South-Africa, Australia and most of Europe. Festival performances includes Fri Resonans and Kongsberg Jazzfestival in Norway, On the Edge of Wrong Festival in South Africa, Moers Festival in Germany, Sonic Acts in Amsterdam, Cable Festival in Nantes, and the NOWnow Festival in Sydney.
Streifenjunko released their debut cd "No Longer Burning" in 2009 on the record label Sofa. In 2010 the duo recieved the prestigious Young Lindeman Award. In 2012 they released their second album, "Sval Torv", on Sofa. In 2011 Eivind also started playing solo performances, he has done tours in Scandinavia and performed at the opening concert of the Ultima Oslo Contemporary Music Festival in 2011. In 2008 Eivind replaced Arve Henriksen in the Christian Wallumrød Ensemble, and in 2009 he featured on the ECM release "Fabula Suite Lugano" which received remarkable critical acclaims, and was nominated for "The Nordic Council Music Prize 2010". As part of Trondheim Jazz Orchestra he has performed with Joshua Redman, Dave Holland and Chick Corea, and performed comissions by Eirik Hegdal, Per Zanussi, Kim Myhr, Ståle Storløkken, Motorpsycho and Erlend Skomsvoll."-Eivind Lonning Website (http://www.eivindlonning.no/bio)
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• Show Bio for Atle Nymo
"Atle Nymo (born 9 June 1977 in Valnesfjord near Fauske, Norway) is a Norwegian jazz musician (tenor saxophone and bass clarinet), and the younger brother of Jazz saxophonist Frode Nymo. He is known for his contributions with the orchestras Motif, one of his main projects, and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra in which he has worked with Jazz greats like Pat Metheny and Chick Corea.
Nymo participated in "Bodø Big Band" under his teacher Henning Gravrok, and was later educated at the Jazz program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium, and has also played in Håvard Stubø's Quintet North. The later years He has played with Ole Morten Vågan's band Motif where he was to be named "Young Jazz Comets" 2001 at Copenhagen Jazz Festival. In "next MGN Trio" he cooperates with Mats Monstad and Ketil Gutvik, and in the latter band "Gutvik5". Otherwise, and also played with Kaizers Orchestra.
Nymo also has his own album release with "Atle Nymo & Frode Nymo Quartet" (Håkon Mjåset Johansen drums and Ole Morten Vågan bass). In his own band "Atle Nymo Quartet" he cooperates with Vigleik Storaas (piano), Magnus Forsberg (drums) and Ole Morten Vågan (bass). The first mentioned played in Quintet with guest Roger Kellaway (piano), and they released an album Inner Urge in 2001 with concert recordings from "Oslo Jazz Festival". Together with Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Håkon Mjåset Johansen he made the album Complete communion in 2006, and with the Swedish trumpet player Magnus Broo as the fourth member, the group was called IPA and they have released the albums Lorena (2009), It's A Delicate Thing (2011) and Bubble (2013). He is also involved in tow other band projects "Saxwaffe" (Frode Nymo, Klaus Holm, Eirik Hegdal, Espen Reinertsen) and "Juxtaposed" (Petter Vågan, Erik Nylander, Ole Morten Vågan)
Nymo is a frequently used big band musician and is attending such as the drummer Børre Dalhaugs "Big Band Blast" (2004) and trombonist & composer Helge Sundes "Denada" (2005), and was from 2002 to 2003 a member of Geir Lysne Listening Ensemble. He also played in Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, and attended the orchestra's cooperation projects with Chick Corea in 2000/2001 (Moldejazz) and Pat Metheny in 2003."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atle_Nymo)
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• Show Bio for Michael Thieke
"The Berlin-based clarinetist/composer/performer Michael Thieke is equally at home across a broad range of musical environments, such as experimental song forms, collectively composing projects, improvising collectives, and music on the fringes of jazz. He is exploring the minutiae of sound, timbre and noise, with a particular interest in microtonality and related sound phenomena, and with a preference for long-term collaborations and collective work.
Some of his current Projects are: The International Nothing (with Kai Fagaschinski cl, CD on ftarri), The Magic I.D. (with Christof Kurzmann, Kai Fagaschinski, Margareth Kammerer, CD/LP on ErstPop and staubgold), The Pitch (with Boris Baltschun organ, Koen Nutters b, Morten Olsen dr, LP on gaffer), Der lange Schatten (with Håvard Wiik p, Antonio Borghini b), Voutchkova/Thieke (with Biliana Voutchkova vl), Splitter Orchester, Toulemonde/Thieke (with Olivier Toulemonde acoustic objects), Hotelgäste (with Derek Shirley b, Dave Bennett g, CD on schraum, LP on self), Michael Thieke Unununium (with Luca Venitucci acc/p, Martin Siewert g, Christian Weber b, Derek Shirley b, Steve Heather dr, Eric Schaefer dr, CD on charhizma), motif (with Atle Nymo sax, Håkon Mjåset Johansen dr, Eivind Lønning tp, Ole Morten Vågan b, Håvard Wiik p), Porta Chiusa (with paed Conca cl, Hans Koch cl), Spirit Songs (with Mike Cooper voc/g, Elio Martusciello el, Fabrizio Spera dr, Luca Venitucci acc/el.), Roman Tics (with Burkhard Beins, Luca Venitucci, CD on Cathnor), Cowards Bend The Knee (Live Music in different setups with the film Cowards Bend The Knee by Guy Maddin), Gebhard Ullmann's The Clarinet Trio (with Gebhard Ullmann bass clarinet, Jürgen Kupke clarinet) and Uli Gumpert Workshop Band."-Michael Thieke Website (http://www.michael-thieke.de/e/biographie.htm)
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• Show Bio for Havard Wiik
"Håvard Skarpnes Wiik (born March 10, 1975) in Kristiansund, Norway is a Norwegian jazz pianist and composer, known from a number of recordings with bands like Atomic, and performances with musicians like Petter Wettre, Ola Kvernberg and Stian Carstensen.
Wiik caused sensation at 17 years old in a concert at the Moldejazz, with bassist Steinar Raknes, as the "Wiikrak Duo". He attended the jazz program at Trondheim musikkonservatorium from 1994 to 96, where he and fellow students established the jazz band Element.
After moving to Oslo he has been a key player in many band projects, such as Atomic, "Free Fall", "Atomic Schooldays", a duo with Håkon Kornstad, a new project with Axel Dörner and Fredrik Ljungkvist. He has been an obvious choice as collaborator with giants in jazz, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano representing the old school, and Ken Vandermark being a soul mate from the here and now., for example the band Motif. He also led the Håvard Wiik Trio with Mats Eilertsen (bass) and Per Oddvar Johansen (drums), to release Postures (Jazzland, 2003).
Wiik was recogniced as "Artist in residence" at the Moldejazz (2004). At the Kongsberg Jazz Festival (2006), he was awarded the Vital prize, giving him the opportunity to perform as solo artist, and release the album Palinode (2007). He also started his own H.W. Trio, releasing Postures (2003), performing his own compositions. He transformed the trio to The Arcades Project (2007). In this version of the trio we find Håkon Mjåset Johansen on drums and Ole Morten Vågan on bass. They have also been involved within bands such as Urban Connection, Come Shine, Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conception of Jazz."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A5vard_Wiik)
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• Show Bio for Hakon Mjaset Johansen
"Håkon Mjåset Johansen (born 1 August 1975 in Trondheim, Norway) is a Norwegian jazz drummer and composer, known from playing with the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra featuring Chick Corea at Moldejazz 2000, cooperations with Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conceptions of Jazz, Ole Morten Vågan's Motif, Siri Gjære's Cricket Club and the Ola Kvernberg Trio. He has also contributed to releases with Jon Larsen, the Atle Nymo/Frode Nymo Quartet and Jan Garbarek.
Johansen was educated on the Jazz program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium, where he and fellow students established the band Urban Connection in 1996 and Come Shine (1999-2003). He also plays with a series of other bands and participates on many recordings.
With the Håvard Wiik Trio he has performed with Ole Morten Vågan, and at the Oslo Jazz Festival 2006, he played with Jon Gordon in quartet with Roger Arntzen and Asbjørn Lerheim. He has also been a regular member of Håvard Stubø Quartet."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A5kon_Mj%C3%A5set_Johansen)
^ Hide Bio for Hakon Mjaset Johansen
• Show Bio for Ole Morten Vagan
"Based in Oslo, Norwegian bass player Ole Morten Vågan has been a central part of the scandinavian jazz and impro community for the last decade, performing with among others Motif, The Deciders, Håvard Wiik Trio, The Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Maria Kannegaard Trio, Andratx, Bugge Wesseltofts NCOJ, Maciej Obara Int. Quartet, Audun Kleive´s Generator X and more recently also Joshua Redman Trio with Jorge Rossy and Ole Morten Vagan . After discovering jazz as a youngster in the Northern town of Brønnøysund (just below the polar circle), he went on to study with amongst others the fantastic bassist Mats Eilertsen, and attending the very influential Jazz Conservatory in Trondheim, Norway.
Also active as a composer, he has written commisions for a.o. the Grammy Nominated norwegian string orchestra The Trondheim Soloists, and more recently for the well renowned Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, of which he is now Artistic Director for 2017-2019 - In addition to steadily writing for bands like Motif and The Deciders for the last ten years. Folk music of different kinds has also been at the core of Vågans interests, and through collaborations with a.o. Jovan Pavlovic, Ola Kvernberg and Stian Carstensen, he has immersed himself in the gipsy music of eastern Europe, Indian Classical Music and also norwegian folk music. He has also had the pleasure of performing with artists from an array of different countries and cultures, including some of the premier Eastern European folk musicians, among them Giani Linca, Filip Simoneov, Ivo Papasov and Petar Ralchev (after a rehearsal with the latter two, Ole Morten experienced his first and probably also last odd meter-induced fever.)
A curious interest in folk music and also classical music is the main focus in the group Gammalgrass, where he plays alongside Carstensen and Kvernberg, two of the most talented musicians coming out of Norway in recent years. Vågan was also the recipient of the Dnb Nor/Kongsberg Jazz Festival Award in 2009, following in the footsteps of people like Sidsel Endresen, Bugge Wesseltoft, Christian Wallumrød, Audun Kleive, Nils Petter Molvaer and many more.
Over the years, Vågan has worked in a wide array of ensembles and settings, which have included some of the most central musicians and bands on the norwegian and international jazz scene. Among these are: Bugge Wesseltoft´s NCOJ, Maria Kannegaard, Thomas Strønen, John Scofield, The Joshua Redman Trio, Erlend Skomsvoll, Eirik Hegdal, Jason Moran, Jorge Rossy, Maciej Obara, Dominik Wania, Iain Bellamy, Ståle Storløkken, Nils Petter Molvær, Dhaffer Youssef, Ivo Papasov, Terje Rypdal, Audun Kleive, Perico Sambeat, Gard Nilssen, Jarle Vespestad, Stian Carstensen, Ola Kvernberg, Paal Nilssen Love, Håkon Kornstad, Tore Brunborg, Bobo Stenson, Jon Christensen, Axel Dörner, Rudi Mahall, Fredrik Ljungkvist, Tobias Delius, Kresten Osgood, Jon Fält, Christian Wallumrød, Eivind Lønning, Håvard Wiik, Jonas Kullhammar, Atle Nymo, , Håkon Mjåset Johansen, Michael Thieke, Arve Henriksen, Aaron Parks, Ambrose Akinmusire, Marcus Strickland and many others."-Ole Morten Vagan Website (http://olemortenvagan.com/biography)
^ Hide Bio for Ole Morten Vagan
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Quantity in Basket: None
Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF395CD
Squidco Product Code: 23095
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at P4 Studio, in Berlin, Germanyon May 25th-26th, 2013 and March 26th-27th, 2015, by Jean-Boris Szymczak.
Atle Nymo-tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Hakon Mjaset Johansen-drums
Ole Morten Vagan-double bass
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