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Greatest Show On Earth [VINYL+CD]

Elephant9: Greatest Show On Earth [VINYL+CD] (Rune Grammofon)

The Norwegian Elephant9 trio of Stale Storlokken on organs and keyboard, Nikolai Haengsle on bass, and Torstein Lofthus on drums, are complemented by Pekka Pohjola of Wigwam fame, for their fifth studio album, a powerful blend of prog-era instrumental rock that's informed by impressive improvisational skill and fueled by the original enthusiasm of complex rock forms.

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product information:

UPC: 7033660031988

Label: Rune Grammofon
Catalog ID: RLP 3198LP
Squidco Product Code: 25451

Format: LP + CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: Norway
Packaging: LP with CD
Recorded at Studio Paradisio, in October, 2017, by Christian Engfelt and Marcus Forsgren,.


Stale Storlokken-keyboard

Nikolai Haengsle-bassist

Torstein Lofthus-drummer

Pekka Pohjola-bells

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Artist Biographies:

"Ståle Storløkken (born 22 February 1969 in Dombås, Norway) is a Norwegian jazz musician (keyboards, organ and piano) and composer, known from co-operations with artists like Terje Rypdal, BigBang, Supersilent and Motorpsycho. He is married to the Norwegian singer Tone Åse.

Storløkken was educated on the Jazz program at Trondheim Musikkonservatorium (1988-90), and subsequently did his postgraduate there too. During the studies he started the band Veslefrekk together with fellow students Arve Henriksen and Jarle Vespestad (Helge Sten joined the band at a later stage). In 1997 the name of the band changed to Supersilent. They have released six critically acclaimed albums on the label Rune Grammofon. From 1995 he played in the trio BOL along with his wife Tone Åse and Tor Haugerud.

Storløkken has been active in many contexts, both as a band leader and member, for example The Stoken Experience, and Terje Rypdal's Skywards. Along with Christian Wallumrød, and he composed the commissioned work Eight Thirty to Kongsberg Jazz Festival 1994. He has collaborated on a number of albums with the named bands, and otherwise at such musicians as Gunnar Andreas Berg, Eldbjørg Raknes, Audun Kleive and Thomas Strønen.

Storløkken together with Thomas Strønen has the Humcrush duo, which has released three albums. He also plays in the trio Elephant9, along with Torstein Lofthus and Nikolai Eilertsen. He co-composed Berit Opheim's commissioned work An angel with for Vossajazz 2007, and in 2010 composed and performed his one commissioned work for Moldejazz with the band Motorpsycho, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and Trondheim Soloists."

-Wikipedia (

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"Nikolai Hængsle (previously Nikolai Hængsle Eilertsen, born 24 June 1978) is a Norwegian bass guitarist. He is primarily known as a member of BigBang (1999-2004, 2009-) and The National Bank (2004-). Eilertsen, who was born in Skotselv, also participates in the bands Lester, Needlepoint and Elephant9.


- Spellemannprisen 2004 in the class Pop band for the album The National Bank

- Spellemannprisen 2010 in the class Jazz for the album Walk the Nile"

-Wikipedia (

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"Torstein Lofthus (born 10 March 1977, in Øystese, Kvam, Norway) is a Norwegian drummer and composer, married to Hege Lofthus (b. Sørvig, 1981), and known from bands like Shining, Elephant9, Mathias Eick Band, D'Sound and Ebersson/Zanussi/Lofthus.

Lofthus has had a major influence on Norwegian music through studio work, live concerts and teaching at Norwegian Academy of Music and at University of Agder (the Faculty of Fine Arts). Based in Oslo, he now tours Norway and Europe with different bands and artists after finishing his master at the Norwegian Academy of Music spring 2006. He plays several genres, well known with both jazz and pop music. He has been the most sought drummer in Norway recent years, if not on tour with Vamp, Jarle Bernhoft, Oslo Gospel Choir, Mathias Eick or Marit Larsen, he collaborates with Maria Mena, Kurt Nilsen, Torun Eriksen, Bertine Zetlitz, Silje Nergaard, Eivind Aarset, D'Sound, Noora Noor, The Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Jon Eberson and Per Zanussi, to mention a few, both in studio and on stage."

-Wikipedia (

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"Pekka Pohjola is a unique artist, whose music is appreciated by connoisseurs all over the world. He is not underrated.

Joe Public might not know him, but most people who have had a taste of his music, rate him as one of the major composers and musicians in popular music. He writes slowly, so new albums are rare and far apart. It has been more than five years since his latest studio album. Meanwhile his music has reached new generations of music lovers. You do not have to be a fan of progressive rock, fusion or jazz rock to appreciate his majestic melody lines. Even an artist like DJ Shadow from a totally different genre of music has sampled his stuff.

Pekka Pohjola (born 1952) is without doubt one of the greatest electric bass players in Europe. He studied classical piano and violin at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, all the while allowing his natural instincts to lead him to a career in rock 'n' roll. After a stint with The Boys, a pioneering group often compared to John Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Pekka joined Wigwam in 1970, staying for four glorious years. Wigwam was one of the most influential Finnish bands in the Seventies, and apart from being quite succesful in Scandinavia they later became a cult band in England even before being signed by Virgin Records.

After leaving Wigwam Pekka did a lot of studio work and played a for a short time with the Jukka Tolonen Band and Made In Sweden. In 1977 Pekka formed The Group, recording their eponymous album in the same year. But most importantly, Pekka recorded his first critically acclaimed solo album, the delicious Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva, during his Wigwam days and his second (Harakka Bialoipokku, internationally known as B The Magpie) and third (The Mathematician's Air Display) albums were internationally released by Virgin Records. The latter was produced by Mike Oldfield, who also played on the record.Among the many other musicians that have admired Pekka's talents is Frank Zappa.

Pekka's fourth solo album Visitation was released in 1979 and it was another big critical success. In 1980 The Group became PEKKA POHJOLA GROUP and they released the album Kätkävaaran Lohikäärme (The Dragon of Kätkävaara Mountain). The band toured extensively on the Continent and Scandinavia in the early Eighties with different line-ups.

Somewhere along the line the word Group was also dropped from the band's name, so that they became known collectively as PEKKA POHJOLA. Urban Tango (1982) was the first album released on his own Pohjola Records label, operated by Rockadillo. There followed some work with various television film music projects, one of them forming the basis for his album Jokamies, released in Finland in 1983. It was released in the USA and Germany under the title Everyman in early 1984. The album was an overnight success on progressive radio stations across North America.

Space Waltz followed in 1985 and Flight Of The Angel in 1986, adding more converts to the legion of his loyal followers. However, in the late eighties Pekka got dissillusioned with the rock scene and disappeared for a couple of years to compose his first symphony. His Sinfonia no 1 with AVANTI! orchestra was premiered live in 1989 and was released on CD in 1990.

Pekka spent two years working on Changing Waters, which marked his majestic return to the recording scene as well as to the live circuit. His new band for the Changing Waters sessions featured Finnish top musicians Seppo Kantonen (keyboards), Markku Kanerva (guitar) and Anssi Nykänen (drums), who became his regular band. The CD was released in Finland in November 1992 and in Scandinavia, Germany and Switzerland in the Spring of 1993. In 1993 Pekka Pohjola played the band's first American shows in New York and Austin.

In November 1994 the band played three shows in Tokyo, where Pekka has a strong and loyal cult following. The shows were recorded for a Live in Japan CD which was released by Japanese label Marquee / Belle Antique in May 1995. In April 1995 Pekka Pohjola played in Barcelona and Madrid in Spain.In November 1995 a double-CD Heavy Jazz - Live in Helsinki and Tokyo was released in Finland. The release date for Japan is January 1996. The CD was mainly recorded in April in Helsinki by Finnish Broadcasting Company's 24-track mobile, but two tracks are 8-track digital recordings from Tokyo in 1994. Heavy Jazz was mixed at the Finnish National Opera studio in Helsinki.

In late September 1997 new studio album, called Pewit, was finally released after five years since Changing Waters came out.

In May 2001 Pekka Pohjola released Views, his first solo album in quite some time. Compared to his hard hitting rocked-out albums of the '80s, the sound on Views could be considered a toning down of the rock-solid guitar-based Pohjola sound boldly witnessed on '80s classics like Urban Tango and Space Waltz. Instead, the sophisticated harmonies on Views focuses on Pohjola's innate skills as a jazz and pop-classical composer-arranger. A number of musicians help take Pohjola's symphonic sound to the next level including long time Pohjola group members, keyboardist Seppo Kantonen and guitarist Markku Kanerva. With it's heavy accent on strings and brass arrangements, Views takes a good look back to Pohjola's trend-setting second album, released on Virgin in England back in '75 with the title B The Magpie. In fact the only song to feature a guitar here is a really different-sounding, Zappa-inspired track entitled "The Red Porsche". The first pop vocal track featured on a Pohjola disc since the early '80s, the song features a few hot vocalists singing the original lyrics (in english) taken from a poem written by Charles Bukowski.

Views makes for some pleasant listening indeed. It might not be the album you expected from Pekka (well, what is?), but the music is (still) so good, you just can't help but enjoy it."

-Pekka Pohjola Website (

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track listing:


1. Way Of Return 5:28

2. Actionpack1 6:30

3. Farmer's Secret 5:21


1. Dancing With Mr. E 5:28

2. Mystery Blend 6:17

3. Freaks 6:56
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Never judge a book by its cover, nor an album by its opening track. With its slippery bass, stilted beats and what sounds like an inebriated Mellotron slurring through a sing-song after a grand night out, the almost comedic Way Of Return provides no clue as to what lies ahead. While their last two releases were augmented by Swedish guitarist and sometime Motorpsycho and Dungen collaborator Reine Fiske, here keyboardist Stale Storlokken, bassist Nikolai Haengsle and drummer Torstein Lofthus go back to power trio basics. Exploding into a thunderous, urgent groove and sprayed with fiery organ, the fifth studio album by this virtuosic Norwegian outfit is bursting with a riotous intensity. Summoned through a sequence of gloriously Hammond-heavy invocations, the spirits of Egg-era Dave Stewart, Keith Emerson and Lifetime's Larry Young are made manifest amid a hurtling, energetic sequence of original compositions. Soulful, smart and packed with thrilling keyboard excursions, this is a love letter to the finest keyboard-orientated outfits in progressive music. Forget thoughts of pastiche or nostalgic knock-off - this is their most powerful release to date."-Prog (UK)

Also available on CD.
Related Categories of Interest:

Vinyl Recordings
Rock and Related
Progressive Rock
Improvised Rock
Improvised Music
European Improvisation and Experimental Forms
Quartet Recordings
New in Rock Forms

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