Skip to main content

Medboe/Eriksen/Halle – The Space Between (Losen Records)

Norwegian guitarist Haftor Medboe has been a low-key fixture of Edinburgh's jazz scene for some years now, having released seven albums in various guises and with different collaborators over the last decade. These include Places and Spaces, recorded in 2012 with a quartet that included Anneke Kampman, vocalist with spectral electronicists, Conquering Animal Sound.

This latest outing sees Medboe lead a trio of pianist Espen Eriksen and trumpeter Gunnar Halle. Both of Medboe's countrymen come with an impressive international pedigree as both band-leaders and side-men on a host of recordings. This makes for a crisp and starkly melodic alliance for a set of seven original pieces. Composed by Medboe with the distance exile brings with it, each one taps into his Nordic roots with an ornate chamber jazz that leaves plenty of space to contemplate the view.

Recorded the day after the trio's live appearance at the 2015 Edinburgh Jazz Festival , the album ebbs and flows from the woozy melancholy of the opening East Pier, onwards to the outer reaches of Bell Rock and beyond. Each instrument treads softly, sketching in the impressionistic colours of a desolate but never barren landscape as they go.

For the final track, the tellingly named More Viking Than You, Eriksen adds a moody harmonium to a work that sees Halle's trumpet augmented by his keening, high-pitched voice. In its final flourishes, The Space Between seems to reach out across the waves to lost ancient frontiers that harken the music bravely back from the ether.

http://www.losenrecords.no/release/sommeren-der-ute-once-upon-a-summer-2

Product, January 2016

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Maids

Dundee Rep

Two sisters sit in glass cases either side of the stage at the start of Eve Jamieson's production of Jean Genet's nasty little study of warped aspiration and abuse of power. Bathed in red light, the women look like artefacts in some cheap thrill waxworks horror-show, or else exhibits in a human zoo. Either way, they are both trapped, immortalised in a freak-show possibly of their own making.

Once the sisters come to life and drape themselves in the sumptuous bedroom of their absent mistress, they raid her bulging wardrobe to try on otherwise untouchable glad-rags and jewellery. As they do, the grotesque parody of the high-life they aspire to turns uglier by the second. When the Mistress returns, as played with daring abandon by Emily Winter as a glamour-chasing narcissist who gets her kicks from drooling over the criminal classes, you can't really blame the sisters for their fantasy of killing her.

Slabs of sound slice the air to punctuate each scene of Mart…

Nomanslanding

Tramway, Glasgow until July 2nd
Four stars

In the dead of night, the audience are split in two and led under-cover into lamp-lit tented structures. Inside, what look like peasant women on the run lead us down a ramp and into a large circular pod. It feels part cathedral, part space-ship, and to come blinking into the light of such a fantastical structure after stumbling in the dark disorientates and overwhelms. Sat around the pod as if awaiting prayers to begin, we watch as performers Nerea Bello and Judith Williams incant mournfully on either side of the room. Their keening chorales embark on a voyage of their own, twisting around each other by way of the international language of singing. As if in sympathy, the walls wail and whisper, before starting to move as those on either side of the pod are left stranded, a gulf between them.

This international co-commission between Glasgow Life and the Merchant City Festival, Sydney Harbour Foreshaw Authority in Australia and Urbane Kienste …

High Society

Pitlochry Festival Theatre
Four stars

The stage looks gift-wrapped with a sparklingly expensive bow at the opening of John Durnin's revival of Arthur Kopit's Cole Porter based musical that reinvigorates the starry 1956 film where it originated. With the film itself drawing from Philip Barry's play, The Philadelphia Story, Kopit and Porter's depiction of the Long Island jet set says much about over-privileged party people, but retains a fizz that keeps it going till all passion is seemingly spent.
The action is based around the forthcoming nuptials of drop-dead gorgeous society gal and serial bride, Tracy Lord. With her daddy having run off with a show-girl, and ex beau next door CK Dexter Haven set sail for other shores, Tracy settles for George, a stinking rich would-be president for whom stupidity, as someone observes, sits on his shoulders like a crown. Enter Tracy's match-making kid sister Dinah and a pair of reporters for a trashy scandal sheet looking to stit…