Trondheim Jazz Orchestra & Ole Morten Vågan – “Happy Endlings” (Odin Records, 2018)

Happy Endlings

“Happy Endings” is the newest release of “Odin Records”. Album was recorded by the most productive, remarkable and original Scandinavian jazz ensemble “Trondheim Jazz Orchestra”, which is leaded by Ole Morten Vågan. The ensemble is formed from dozens of famous and creative jazz masters – it’s Ole Morten Vagan (artistic director, bass), Espen Berg (pianist, composer), Tomas Jarmyr (drummer), “The MaxX” (band), “Skrap” ((Anja Lauvdal/Heida Mobeck) – composers), Kristoffer Lo ( composer, tuba, guitar), Christian Wallumrod (composer, pianist), Espen Reinertsen (composer, saxophonist), Ola Kvernberg (violinist, composer), Kim Myhr (composer, guitarist), Marius Neset (composer, saxophone), Sofia Zernberg (composer, singer) and Olav Mjelva (composer, fiddler). Ensemble joins together famous, talented and creative jazz masters, composers and inventive improvisers. The ensemble had been collaborating with various artists of international jazz scene, such as Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Joshua Redman, Erlend Skomsvoll, Eirik Hegdal, Sofia Jernberg, Maria Kannegaard, Kim Myhr and many others. “Trondheim Jazz Orchestra” was founded before 17 years – till that time from ordinary jazz ensemble the orchestra transformed to bright, innovative, passionate and productive jazz ensemble. It has unique and dynamic sound, rich musical language, vivid and bright melodies and fascinating musical decisions.

“Happy Endings” is filled with dynamic and intense sound. Dozens of different rhythms, expressions, sounds, styles and tunes contain huge musical pattern. The music is based on sound experiments, innovations, spontaneous improvising and eclectic stylistic and exotic instrumental combos. The music is bright, luminous and adventurous, or – soft, light, peaceful and relaxing. All musicians are the masters of improvising – together they create unque, passionate and gorgeous sound. Improvisers like to experiment – this is the main reason, who effects directly whole musical pattern. The music is made by contrasts – the musical pattern is like colorful, tremendous and sparkling mosaic, who is constructed from contrasting pieces. Numerous of different styles are fused together. Avant-garde, experimental and free jazz are the basics of album – wild free and tremendous collective improvisations have remarkable and innovative sound. It’s fused with bebop, post bop, neo bop, cool, modal and other styles of modern and contemporary jazz. The huge number of styles creates colorful and bright sound – each instrument has its own melody and musical language. The musical pattern is colorful, rich and polyphonic – it has abstract structure, bright and wide stylistic variety, variable melodies and open form. Though, the main part of the compositions is based on free jazz, the great and natural fusion is made with other jazz styles. Musicians fuse incredibly fuse together slow and monotonic pieces, hard core, peaceful and relaxing moods with terrific, wild, thrilling and splendid passages, roaring and vibrant blow outs or gentle and light episodes. The reeds make an effort to whole sound – it’s gently fit together with guitars, brasses, stroings and drums. Saxophones and clarinet of various kinds give the main tune to the melodic section. Energetic, vivid and trembling solos with moving vibrato, passionate solos, tremendous and wild fast passages, colorful glissando and other playing techniques, special effects and weird sounds. Vibrant and roaring blow outs, scandalous culminations are made with love, passion and drive. It always brings the energy, turbulence and expression to compositions. The guitars section is active, electric and heavy – terrific hard core is a solid base for rhythmic and harmonic pattern. Modern, electric, dynamic and eclectic guitars are based on heavy and vibrant riffs, sparkling solos, passionate and moving culminations, roaring bursts of energy, subtle pauses, silent and peaceful excerpts and many other elements. The guitars have much in common with rock and avant-rock, especially in rhythmic line. It also gently fit together with reeds and other groups of instruments. Solid, firm and deep tube, gorgeous, playful and childish fiddle’s intonations, sparkling, remarkable and impressive piano melodies, moving violin solos – all these instruments bring their own character and sound to common musical pattern. It creates wide palette of colors, sounds, and timbres, who are joined together in artsy and organic way. Drum section is somewhere between avant-garde and contemporary jazz with bright intonations of rock, avant-rock and contemporary academical music. Roaring tremolo, gorgeous and warm pizzicatto, strict staccato, tremendous tremolo, bright and vivacious passages, wild fast, furious and wild free improvisations, who meet the solid, stable and slow rhythmic line – that’s the main part of drum’s section. All music of this ensemble is based on spontaneous and experimental improvising – musicians create marvelous, passionate and innovative sound by taking on risky adventures, new forms and integrating fresh ideas to their music.


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