Helge Lien: Gamut Warning

Track

Gamut Warning

Artist

Helge Lien (piano)

CD

Hello Troll (Ozella OZ 021 CD)

Buy Track

Musicians:

Helge Lien (piano), Frode Berg (bass), Knut Aalefjœr (drums).

Composed by Helge Lien

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Recorded: Oslo, February 24-25, 2008

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Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

The leadoff track to Lien’s Hello Troll is built around Berg’s funky bass line using an odd time signature; this is very much an acoustic groover. The insistent energy fed off the rhythm section is jettisoned in short releases, as Lien takes an extreme minimalist approach to his piano, dropping on occasional chord, repeated notes and truncated single line phrases, like stopping thoughts in mid-sentence. His lean playing is impressionistic in the fine Norwegian tradition of Esbjörn Svensson, but the angular, circular groove recalls an unplugged Nik Bärtsch’s Ronin.

On a technical level, “Gamut Warning” won’t knock the socks off of anybody, but that’s not the point. It’s about the spiritual, atmospheric and contemplative by a trio that acts as a living organism of mood.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron

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