“One concert from the Norwegian programming strand stood out from everything else at jazzahead! this year as my unquestioned musical high-point. It was the ten-piece Trygve Seim Large Ensemble who were given the opportunity to present an event in ECM Records ongoing 50-years celebration in the wonderful acoustic of the Sendesaal Bremen. Seim’s compositions are remarkable for their logic, clarity and development. And for a large ensemble to play with this degree of understanding of an idiom, with such a natural organic flow of music, balance, a combination of making individual statements but also contributing to the greater picture… this was a concert to remember.
The absolute heroes of this band were the bass clef inhabitants: contra-bassoon, tuba and bass sax who underpinned the ensemble wonderfully. Seim himself and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen also proved to be the gentlest, subtlest of conductors. All of these players have such a serendipitous sixth sense for pacing, level and dramaturgy, all that was needed is the occasional flick of the hand to bring total unanimity.
I have been able to track down a personnel listing, but actually, honestly, have no idea what music they were playing. That said, everyone in this list deserves praise: –Trygve Seim – saxophones/compositions, Håvard Lund– clarinets, Torben Snekkestad – saxophones, Embrik Snerte – bassoon, Eivind Nordset Lønning – trumpet, Øyvind Brække – trombone, Lars Andreas Haug – tuba, Svante Henryson – cello, Frode Haltli – accordion, Per Oddvar Johansen, drums”
(The music we played on this concert was a four movement composition named “Reis”, commissioned by (and premiered at) Vossa Jazz many years ago, but unfortunately never recorded or released (hopefully that’ll change … ). The encore was Ulrikas Dans from the CD Different Rivers (ECM 1744, released 2001).
Thanks to ECM Records, Sendesaal Bremen, Music Norway, Norsk jazzforum, Kulturrådet, Fond For Utøvende Kunstnere and Vossa Jazz for making this concert possible and thereby also this music available (again … ).
Photo: Odd Geir Sæther
To book Trygve Seim Ensemble contact Kjell Kalleklev Management
The CD is with instrumental songs for quartet composed by Trygve Seim, and performed by his instrumental quartet including Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu, Norwegian double bass player Mats Eilertsen and Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari.
The CD is produced by Manfred Eicher and recorded in Rainbow Studio in Oslo.
You can listen to Helsinki Songs here:
On the ECM website: https://ecm.lnk.to/HelsinkiSongs
On Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3Kq1Dy1BmAVco780WvXwnM?si=-_Bp529mQxa3FpYEpLn_vA
On Apple Music: https://itunes.apple.com/no/album/helsinki-songs/1420017626?l=nb
You can read more about Helsinki Songs at the ECM website: https://www.ecmrecords.com/catalogue/1522764068