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Gronseth: Outer View

Gronseth: Outer View

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Anders Lønne Grønseth and the band Multiverse launches their third album Outer View. The band has been described as "currently one of the Norway's most original, ambitious, advanced and complete bands" and "a quintet that in a riveting way combines controlled melodicity with a trembling desire for improvisation" ( Multiverse has created its own tonal language based on intuitive interaction, listening communication and musical openness. This is a jazz quintet that just as easily draws its inspiration from classical modernism, Indian raga or maqam from the Middle East. "The whole quintet seems to be controlled by one common brain," said one reviewer. The music is performed with great improvisational freedom and close interaction between musicians who in their own way have proven to be strong representatives of the Nordic jazz of today.


The titles ‘Bilyrical’, ‘Bifokal’, ‘Bipolar Penguin Express’, and ‘Bikoral’, point to Grønseth’s interest in bitonality (although the composers of these tunes are, in order, Berg, Grønseth, Powell, Powell, which suggests that this interest is shared across the band). On previous outings (‘Multiverse’, ‘Theory of Everything’) all compositions were by Grønseth. On this release, he set his bandmates the challenge of creating compositions following the bitonal scale that he has been working on. In the liner notes, Grønseth describes the concept of bitonal scales as “…just another way to organize the tonal material by combining two…scales… The combined scales are spread out in thirds to form a two-octave scale span.” Amongst other features, this approach creates structural difference between lower and upper octave and, consequently, the loss of a perfect octave. While this music theory might seem challenging, the listener rarely encounters anything untoward—Grønseth says it is like “a musical coloring box slightly beyond your usual coloring chart.” And this is a really neat description of the feel of the music; often it sounds completely right, but sometimes it sounds right in a way that draws you up short.

What is particularly intriguing is the ways in which the approach to composition (which, if you’re seeking a musical analogy, are not unlike modal scales) are assimilated by each player to create a consistent set of tunes but which reflect nuances that arise from individual perspectives. This is an ingenious approach to furthering the shared musical understanding of the band and pays dividends in the ways in which the players immerse themselves in the tunes. In the end, the listener is rewarded with a set of tunes played with total commitment that are accessible, surprising, and richly enjoyable.

-- Jazz Views (Chris Baber)

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  • Release Specifications

    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Release Date:
    • Label: NXN Recordings
    • UPC/Barcode: 7090052640203
    • Item Number: NXN2009