This is a beautiful release from Norway by Helge Lien Trio – Helge Lien on piano, Frode Berg on bass and Knut AalefjÃ¦r on drums. Their previous release was “Hello Troll” in 2008, while this is their fifth full-length studio album. “Natsukashii” is felt with impressive lyrical moodscapes, maintaining the balance between jazz traditions and the avantgardist art of improvisation, including something from the contemplative approach of Garbarek and the bright play of Jarrett. This trio changing moods, shifting tempos and tunes fluently and colorful leaving wide open spaces to each other, but still going tight close together in a wonderful exploration of yet undiscovered sides of music.
Helge Lien, who besides his own trio project performs with other Norwegian acts like Silje Nergaard, has developed his very own unmistakeable style of trio playing. With instinctive sureness, the musicians develop a â€žchamber musicâ€œ jazz that stands out through its harmonically complex tone colors. And this music is so much alive and pulsing, twisting in and out of different moods and shades of tones that it is impossible not to fall in love with it. And it may be a lifetime commitment. It’s absolutely brilliant and addictive.
A little nation with a big jazz tradition is the land of fjords and trolls, and Helge Lien Trio it may be the best piano trio of the moment, “Natsukashii” is sheer enjoyment from the beginning till the end.