The Squid's Ear Magazine


Mollestad, Hedvig / Trondheim Jazz Orchestra: Maternity Beat (Rune Grammofon)

A large work composed and arranged by Norwegian guitarist Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen for the 12-piece Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, this album shows Mollestad's increasing range in expressive work that extends boundaries between composed, improvised and rock music, with authoritative playing balancing serious concepts from pandemic or motherhood with playfully whimsical moments.
 

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Personnel:



Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen-guitar

Trine Knutsen-flute

Adrian Loseth Waade-violin

Mai Elise Solberg-voice, vocals

Ingebjorg Loe Bornstadt-voice, vocals

Petter Kraft-saxophone

Susana Santos Silva-trumpet

Martin Myhre Olsen-alto saxophone

Georgia Wartel Collins-bass

Torstein Lofthus-drums


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UPC: 7033662022281

Label: Rune Grammofon
Catalog ID: RCD 2228CD
Squidco Product Code: 32554

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Norway
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Athletic Sound, in Halden, Norway, in October, 2021, by Dag Erik Johansen.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"With Maternity Beat, Hedvig Mollestad has surpassed herself, most significantly as a composer and arranger, and delivered her most ambitious work to date. And that's not a proclamation to be taken lightly. Mollestad, after all, has been one of Norway's most adventurous and hardest-working musicians since the Molde International Jazz Festival named her the Young Jazz Talent of the Year in 2009.

Recorded with the 12-piece Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (who have previously worked with legends like Chick Corea and Joshua Redman), Maternity Beat is a sprawling double album and true career milestone. The sheer sonic and emotional scope of this album required Mollestad wear multiple hats: guitar explorer, composer, arranger, improviser, collaborator, and, as the striking title implies, mother. In addition to encompassing the full evolution of her sound to date, it offers deeply personal meditations on the nature of family and pressing social justice issues."-Rune Grammofon



"Hedvig Mollestad's music is like a particularly extravagant geyser that spews periodically when not bubbling away underneath the surface. Her sound sits at the heavier end of the metal-jazz continuum, a space the Norwegian guitarist has explored extensively with her eponymous trio on seven albums over the past 11 years. Maternity Beat, Mollestad's latest collaboration with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, continues the narrative experimentation of her recent solo releases Tempest Revisited and Ekhidna, this time making motherhood the object of focus.

Writing and arranging a double album of compositions for the 12 players of Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, plus Mollestad herself, is a significant undertaking, but it's also ambitious in the range of themes it incorporates: parenthood, the global migration crisis, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. What groups the various ideas in Maternity Beat together is, unsurprisingly, motherhood-particularly its connection to emotional states. From there, Mollestad digs deep in her toolkit for interesting ways to convey her concerns-take the slightly disconnected voices on "Her Own Shape," a parable of parenthood, or the urgency of an onlooker's cries going head to head with passive drones on the striking opener "On the Horizon Part 1." Rather than distilling her ideas too neatly, Mollestad leaves them murky, making her socially engaged themes inextricable from their musical surroundings.

The sound of Maternity Beat is similarly knotty, exploring dissonance, harsh noise, and crunching grooves on nine action-packed compositions. Mollestad described creating the project as being "as thrilling as jumping off a cliff," and the feeling of inching your toes over the edge is clear from the first listen. In "On the Horizon Part 2," a multitude of instabilities-uneven meters, warring counterpoint, thumping grooves, and overdriven guitar riffs-loosely connect to create a landscape constantly moving in different directions. Frenzied figures balance on top of that unstable ground, with scorched-earth improvising from saxophonist Martin Myhre Olsen, and, on "Donna Ovis Peppa," violinist Adrian Løseth Waade.

Balancing the full-blooded moments are more tranquil corners like "Little Lucid Demons," a quaint étude for small ensemble and Laurie Anderson-like automaton voices; it expands out into a luxurious groove with a stretched melody that nods to John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. "Look for swing, look for flow, look for beat, then take it away," the voices half-sing in stereo. But rhythm never totally disappears in Mollestad's music, which maintains a constant heartbeat even in minimal moments.

Mollestad's pieces fare best when they marry dark and light in one picture, like the bizarre gothic dirge "Do Re Mi Ma Ma," with its surreal touches of cartoonish humor, weary whole-ensemble exhalations, and dense trio improvisations shared between Mollestad, organist Ståle Storløkken, and drummer Torstein Lofthus. It's the most vivid of Mollestad's musical portraits, throwing strong colors onto her massive canvas; less convincing are the pieces rendered in pastel ("Her Own Shape") or monochrome ("All Flights Cancelled," borrowed from Mollestad's 2021 trio album Ding Dong You're Dead). The latter song's immediacy-as Mollestad faced the prospect of an international touring season scuppered by COVID-19-fades as it's translated across projects and timeframes.

The album's two framing tracks, "Maternity Beat" and "Maternity Suite," come right at the end, and travel to the project's extremities. "Maternity Beat" sits in a calm yet eerie space, where Mollestad delivers prolonged harmonic trickles, waiting for ensemble respite that only appears in snippets. "Maternity Beat" follows abruptly with big rock textures, Mollestad's raucous soloing, and general noisy joy, as the band gets its chops around busy, boppish lines. Heard as one continuous 19-minute piece, the two songs encapsulate an artist whose most interesting work resides at the edges."-Hugh Morris, Pitchfork Media


Get additional information at Pitchfork Media

Artist Biographies

"Hedvig Mollestad Thomassen (born 4 February 1982 in Ålesund, Norway) is a Norwegian musician (guitar, vocals and composing). She is known for a series of album releases and collaborations with musicians like Jon Eberson, Jarle Bernhoft and Hilde Marie Kjersem.

Thomassen is a graduate from the Norwegian Academy of Music, and collaborates in a variety of rock and jazz bands, including her own Hedvig Mollestad Trio, Thomassen Trio, Bronco Busters, Songs and Sweet Potatoes, and VOM (as "Mester Pøggs"). She also has a central role in the bands of Jarle Bernhoft and Hilde Marie Kjersem, and has performed within Trondheim Jazz Orchestra. Thomassen was awarded "The young jazz talent of the year" at Moldejazz in 2009, and showed up on a gig within Jarle Bernhoft Band at the 2011 Kongsberg Jazzfestival. When she released her debut solo album Shoot! (2011) leading her own trio, the music bears little resemblance to what she plays within Jon Eberson Group and the bands of Hilde Marie Kjersem and Jarle Bernhoft.

Hedvig Mollestad Trio (also referred to as HM3) consists of Hedvig Mollestad (guitar, vocals), Ellen Brekken (bass) and Ivar Loe Bjørnstad (drums). The trio has received numerous appraising reviews internationally, for both their studio albums and live performances. Their music is inspired by 70s heavyrock, but creates a peculiar musical mixture of ingredients like free jazz, prog and psychedelia. On its website the band describes their own music as "Outgoing & progressive instrumental rock". Since the trio's formation in 2009, HM3 has played many concerts and jazz festivals in both Norway and abroad and they have toured in Europe, Malaysia, Japan and the USA."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hedvig_Mollestad_Thomassen)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Flutist, Trine Knutsen comes from Bærum and had her musical upbringing in bands and amateur orchestras from the area.

She studied for three years at the Norwegian Academy of Music in 1988 before she got a permanent job as a flutist in the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. In parallel with the orchestral work she completed studies at the graduate and diploma level at Folkwang Universität der Künste in Essen, Germany with Prof. Matthias Rütters.

Trine Knutsen held her debut concert in the University Aula in Oslo in the autumn of 1992, and was a prize winner at the Princess Astrid Music Award in Trondheim in the autumn of 1993.

Knutsen left the Bergen Philharmonic in 1996 and went to Trondheim. For two years she was the General Manager of the Trondheim Soloists. In the autumn of 1999, she was appointed associate professor in wind instrument studies at the Music Conservatory in Trondheim (Department of Music at NTNU).

She has on several occasions been a soloist with the Trondheim Soloists, including a tour in Spain, and several regional tours. On October 3, Knutsen was a soloist in Krysztof Penderecki's flute concerto with the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra, with the composer himself conducting. She premiered a suite in ten movements for solo flutes at the opening of St Olavs festival 2010.In November 2014 the was the soloist in Arne Nordheim's Tractatud with Trondheim Sinfonietta.

Trine Knutsen has both piccolo and flute as soloist instruments, and has also played a lot of alto and bass flute in jazz and chamber music settings. She plays regularly in the Trondheim Sinfonietta, the Mid-Norwegian Chamber Ensemble, the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Trondheim Windquintet etc., substituting for several of the country's symphony orchestras. She is also appearing at festivals as chamber musician and soloist.

Trine Knutsen was Head of the Department of Music at NTNU from 2009 to 2015. She is also an appointed board member of several boards and committees."

-NTNU (https://www.ntnu.edu/employees/trine.knutsen)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Adrian Løseth Waade is a violinist/composer known from groups such as Skadedyr, Trondheim Jazz-Orchestra and the Swedish/Norwegian quartet Bone Machine. Adrian is looking to develop the violin as a tool for both free and structured improvisation, and create frameworks in order to make the instrument sound in new, interesting ways. He incorporates both old and new, rhythmic and classical music in his work."

-Nakama Records (http://www.nakamarecords.no/adrian-lseth-waade/)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Mai Elise Solberg is a singer, musician and composer for the pop duo Ontz. She also plays with some of Norway's most successful artists including Hanne Hukkelberg and Sissel Kyrkjebø. In addition, she conducts and arranges music for Pikekoret alongside Nina Mortvedt."

-SMÅ GRÅ Website (https://www.smaagraa.com/about/)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Ingebjørg Loe Børnstadt was born in 1978, and is a trained vocalist with a practicing master's degree from the department of jazz and improvisation at the Norwegian Academy of Music. She also has a practical pedagogical education from the University of Western Norway.

She works with song, songwriting, improvisation, text, composition and performing arts, and her project has received funding from the Culture Council, FFUK, FFLB, Musikkfondene and TONO for publishing, composition, text writing and tours.

Ingebjørg has taught at, for example, the Grieg Academy at the University of Bergen, Toneheim folk college and the music department at Oslo City Steinerskole, and she holds workshops in songwriting, text writing and improvisation."

-Ingebjorg Loe Bornstadt Website (Translated by Google) (https://www.ingebjorgloebjornstad.com/om-ingebjrg)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Petter Kraft is a jazz saxophonist from Trondheim, Norway, who also plays the guitar. He is known for the groups Megalodon Collective, Operasjon Hegge, Rønnings Jazzmaskin, The MaXx.

-Discogs (https://www.discogs.com/artist/4836659-Petter-Kraft)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Susana Santos Silva is a trumpeter, improviser and composer from Porto, Portugal.

She holds a Master Diploma in Jazz Performance '2010 from Codarts, Rotterdam, where she worked with Eric Vloeimans, Jarmo Hoogendijk and Wim Both.

She holds a Graduate Diploma in Jazz/Trumpet '2008 and in Trumpet '2004 from College of Music and Performing Arts in Porto, attending the last year of the course at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe in the class of Prof. Reinhold Friedrich, where she also had baroque trumpet lessons with Prof. Edward Tarr.

She is a member and co-founder of the Porto based jazz musicians association Porta-Jazz and it's label, Carimbo. 
With Coreto, an ensemble of musicians from this association led by João Pedro Brandão, she recorded in 2012 the first album of the label, 'Aljamia'. Two more were released after that, 'Mergulho' and 'Sem Chão'.

In 2011 she releases her first album as a leader of her own Quintet, 'Devil´s Dress' on Tone of a Pitch Records. With this band she played 12 Points Jazz Festival, Dublin in 2011. In 2015 she releases her second album as a leader, 'Impermanence' on Carimbo Porta-Jazz. Life and Other Transient Storms, her new project with Lotte Anker, Sten Sandell, Torbjörn Zetterberg and Jon Falt, premiered last year at Tampere jazz Happening and their new album is now out on Clean Feed Records.

Her other main projects include LAMA, a Rotterdam based trio with portuguese bassist Gonçalo Almeida and canadian drummer Greg Smith, 'Oneiros' (2011), 'Lamaçal' (2013) feat. Chris Speed and 'The Elephant's Journey' feat. Joachim Badenhorst (2015), all released on Clean Feed Records, a duo with swedish bassist Torbjörn Zetterberg, 'Almost Tomorrow' Clean Feed 2013, a duo with the slovenian pianist Kaja Draksler 'This Love' Clean Feed 2015, a duo with drummer Jorge Queijo 'Songs from my Backyard' Wasser Bassin 2013, a collaboration with the belgian trio De Beren Gieren, 'The Detour Fish' Clean Feed 2014, a trio with Torbjörn Zetterberg and the swedish organist Hampus Lindwall 'If Nothing Else' Clean Feed 2015 and a quartet with Christine Wodrascka, Christian Meaas Svendsen and Håkon Berre, 'Rasengan!' (Barefoot Records 2016).

She is also part of João Guimarães Octet, 'Zero' Toap 2014, Torbjörn Zetterberg 'Och Den Stora Frågan' Moserobie 2014, 'Om Liv & Död' Moserobie 2015, and Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos, with whom she played and recorded with musicians as Lee Konitz, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Chris Cheek, Carla Bley, Steve Swallow, Maria Schneider, among many others.

She was a member of the European Movement Jazz Orchestra, with whom she played in Germany, Slovenia, Austria, Belgium, Portugal and Egipt. The orchestra recorded 'EMJO Live at Coimbra', released in 2011 on Clean Feed Records."

-Susana Santos Silva Website (https://susanasantossilva.com/bio/)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Martin Myhre Olsen: "30 year old saxophone player and composer from Leirsund living in Oslo, Norway.

After receiving his bachelor degree in performing arts at the NTNU- Jazz Conservatory in Trondheim 2014, he has toured extensively in Scandinavia and Europe and released a handful of albums in his own name and in collaboration with others. He honed his composing and arrangment skills for four years by working as the musical director of MNJ Youth Orchestra, and has in the two past years been on stage with Chick Corea on several occasions as a soloist.

In 2018 he won the Norwegian Grammy "Spellemann" for best jazz album of 2017 with the highly praised quintet "Hegge", and was awarded the prestigious title "NTNU-Ambassador" at Jazzfest 2018 for his achievements.

Active projects: Wako, MMO-Ensemble, Hitrakongen, Hegge, Siril Malmedal Hauge, Megalodon Collective, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra, Oslo Jazzensemble."

-Martin Myhre Olsen Website (https://www.martinmyhreolsen.com/about-martinmyhreolsen)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Georgia Wartel Collins is a Swedish double bass player based in Norway. Jazz and improvisation has always been a strong life force for Georgia with both her parents active in the jazz and performance-art scenes. Her home was always full of live music and the house vibrated with creativity. 

She started playing music at an early age, always intending to improvise. Georgia and her double bass found one another and entered a passionate, complex and long lasting relationship, developing a movement based approach to playing. Her vast explorations of the bass are always in motion. 

Georgia graduated from the Conservatory in Trondheim 2019 and received her Masters degree from Conservatorium van Amsterdam 2022.

Beside her own work, she collaborates often with other inspirational music, dance and theatre projects, a few of them are:

JUNO, dance and music performance 'I am not there, I am here', Moby Dick with French/Norwegian theatre company Plexus Polaire, Liv Andrea Hauge Trio, 'Kontrabassorkestret' led by Ellen Andrea Wang, music performance group 'The Rosehips' and free impro duo 'music for whales'."

-Georgia Wartel Collins Website (https://georgia-wartel-collins.com/)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"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 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Torstein_Lofthus)
2/21/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. On The Horizon Part 1 2:49

2. On The Horizon Part 2 3:56

3. Do Re Mi Ma Ma 9:59

4. Donna Ovis Peppa 7:43

5. Little Lucid Demons / Alfons 7:33

6. All Flights Cancelled 6:49

7. Her Own Shape 5:24

8. Maternity Beat 9:24

9. Maternity Suite 9:44

Related Categories of Interest:


Vinyl Recordings
Rock and Related
Jazz
Improvised Music
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Guitarists, &c.
Large Ensembles
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(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
After performing at the Ad Libitum Festival 2021, FSR's Maciej Karlowski organized this recording at Agnieszka Osiecka Polish Radio Concert Hall in Warsaw, bringing together four masterful improvisers from four countries: pianist Izumi Kimura (Japan/Ireland), cornetist Artur Majewski (Poland), bassist Barry Guy (The UK) and drummer/percussionist Ramon Lopez (Spain).
Schlippenbach, Alexander Von / Francois Carrier / John Edward / Michel Lambert
Unwalled
(Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))
A first meeting between two incredible improvised pairings--Canadians Francois Carrier on alto saxophone and Michel Lambert on drums, and Euro/UK improvisers Alexander von Schlippenbach on piano and John Edwards on double bass-- recording live in the studio in Berlin for seven improvisations of profound creative intent and inventive conversation.
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"Celebrating 75 Years Of His First Recordings" & "Live Five Spot 1958, Revisited"
(ezz-thetics by Hat Hut Records Ltd)
Buy both Thelonius Monk albums on ezz-thetics by Hat Hut, Ltd — "Celebrating 75 Years Of His First Recordings" & "Live Five Spot 1958, Revisited" — for one special price and save $6!!



The Squid's Ear Magazine

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