Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians
He was raised at a jazz club in Stavanger, run by his parents from 1979-86. It was natural to choose his father's drums as his instrument and jazz as his work. From 1990 on he took actively part in the jazz milieu in Stavanger and joined bands with established musicians such as trumpeter Didrik Ingvaldsen and saxophonist Frode Gjerstad. In 1993 -l 994 he attended the jazz department at Sund College before going on to study at the Jazz dept at the University in Trondheim during fall of 94 until 1996. The group Element (Gisle Johansen, HAvard Wiik, and Ingebrigt Flaten), whilst studying in Trondheim, was established, inspired by the John Coltrane quartet. The forming of the quartet Element in 1993 in many ways represented the start of a new phase in Paal's musical life. Element musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Flaten and pianist Wiik, and lead to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter, amongst others. Paal moved to Oslo in 1996, where he joined and/or took part in the forming of bands like Vindaloo, SAN, Hakon Kornstad Tio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio. He participated in a music and dance program in Cuba in 1997. He later on got more into self-initiated projects and since 1999 into collaborations with Swedish musicians, such as pianist Sten Sandell and saxophonist Mats Gustafsson. Paal played his first solo concert in 1999, and since then the solo concept has been an important part of his work. Today Paal's portfolio includes Atomic, School Days, The Thing, Frode Gjerstad Trio, Sten Sandell Trio, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Ken Vandermark, John Butcher, Mats Gustafsson, organist Nils Henrik Asheim and noise wizard Lasse Marhaug. He recently joined Peter Brotzmann Chicago Tentet. He has made numerous performances at festivals and clubs in Europe and USA and participated on more than 50 recordings. In 2002 at the Molde Jazzfestival he was Artist in Residence doing 9 concerts over 6 days with various artists. He also runs his own annual festival - All Ears - for improvised music in Oslo, which is an important part of his musical life, and he plans to start his own recording label for vinyl productions. He has played in various settings with Iain Ballamy (UK), Andy Sheppard(UK), Django Bates (UK), Chris Potter (US), Rene McLean (US), Dominic Duval (US), Ali Haurand (D), Alan Skidmore (UK), Pat Metheny, and others. His major composition, "Evolusjon", is a percussion composition for 9 musicians, premiered in 1993.
Gustafsson/Flaten/Nilssen-Love: The Thing (2000); Andresen, Finnerud, Nilssen-Love: Egne Hoder (2000); Sticks & Stones (2001); Eberson, Andresen, Nilssen-Love: Mind the Gap (2001); Janson, Kullhammar, Nilssen-Love: Live at Glenn Miller Cafe (2002); Bjorkenheim, Flaten, Nilssen-Love: Scorch Trio (2002); Nilssen-Love, Gustafsson: I love it when you Snore (2002); Paal Nilssen-Love, Ken Vandermark: Dual Pleasure (2002); Andresen, Wesseltoft, Nilssen-Love: Samsa'ra (2003); Nilssen-Love, Hakon Kornstad: Schlinger (2003); Vandermark, Nilssen-Love: Dual Pleasure 2 (2004); John Butcher, Nilssen-Love Duo (2005)
Circulasione Totale Orch: Enten Eller (1992); Pocket Corner: Slutt (1995); Jazz I Timeglass (compilation CD from concert) (1995); Pocket Corner: Rede for Hugg (1996); Element: Element (1996); San Int. Ensemble: San Song (1997); Pocket Corner: By-Music (1997); Bugge Wesseltoft Sonet: Sharing (1998); Zim Ngqawana: Zimology (1998); Circulasione Totale Orch.: Borealis (1998); Pocket Corner: Cosmic Ballet (1999); Element: Shaman (1999); Quintet: March 28th 1999 (1999); Didrik Ingvaldsen: History & Movement (2000); Ingoma: Ingoma (2000); Trygve Seim: Different Rivers (2000); Zim Ngqawana: Rough Guide to South African Jazz (2000); School Days: Crossing Division (2000); Sten Sandel Trio: Standing Wave (2001); Frode Gjerstad Trio: The Blessing Light (2001); No Spaghetti Edition: Listen...and tell me what it was (2001); The Thing + Joe McPhee: She Knows... (2001); Atomic: Feet Music (2001); Kornstad Trio: Space Available (2001); Christer Bothen Acoustic Ensemb le: 7 Pieces (2002); Frode Gjerstad Trio: Last First (2002); School Days: In Our Times (2002); Frode Gjerstad trio + P. Brotzmann: Sharp Knives Cut Deeper (2003); The Thing + School Days: The Music of Norman Howard (2003); Frode Gjerstad Trio: St. Louis (2003); Atomic: Boom, Boom (2004); Kornstad trio + Axel Dorner: Live from Kongsberg (2004); Sten Sandell Trio: Flat Iron (2004); Territory Band 3: Map Theory (2004); Atomic School Days: Nuclear Assembly Hall (2004); FME: Underground (2004); The Thing: Garage (2004); Scorch Trio (2004); Town Houre Orchestra (2004
"Absolutt", NRK2, Element 1998
His CD "Egne Hoder" from 2000 was nominated for the Norwegian equivalent of the Grammy.