The music on offer here is best described as modern mainstream jazz despite Cobham's leanings towards jazz-rock
Cobham's presence is most noticeable on Rolls Strolls, an entirely solo effort from him, and on Rock Shaker
New kids on the block
Billy Cobham presents Nordic: Off Colour
Music Gallery India Pvt Ltd
It's always pleasant to be able to report a discovery that was well worth discovering. Here I have two.
Nordic, comprising Bugge Wesseltoft (piano), Tore Brunborg (tenor sax) and Terje Gewelt (bass), is not entirely unknown to me, since I've heard them on the BBC World Service's weekly jazz programme, but this is the first album of theirs I've come across. They are joined and presented by the famous rock-influenced jazz drummer Billy Cobham in a recording session in Oslo, published under licence in India by Music Gallery, a new label. Although I'm familiar with it as it has hitherto been in the business of distributing Concord Jazz records in India, as far as recordings available in India are concerned, both Nordic and Music Gallery are new, and I cannot do less than welcome them with the hope that this first cassette will not be the last.
The music on offer here is best described as modern mainstream jazz despite Cobham's leanings towards jazz-rock. The quartet is well balanced and tightly knit. Wesseltoft, whom one would describe as the leader despite the presence of the celebrated Cobham, has a nimble and gentle touch on the keyboard, which makes his presence noticeable even when he is in the background accompanying Brunborg.
Much of the music has a lively pace, for example, the opening piece, Lat, which has good work by Gewelt on the bass before Brunborg makes a late entry on the tenor sax. Recife, which follows, too is lively after a quiet beginning, with excellent solos by piano and drums succeeded by passages dominated by sax and bass.
End Off is marked by a gentle piano solo followed by a bass solo. Black Ink is another brisk-paced number, on which piano, tenor sax and drums solos vie for attention. Cobham's presence is most noticeable on Rolls Strolls, an entirely solo effort from him, and on Rock Shaker, where he shares honours with the other three but throws in a jazz-rock touch, mercifully not unpleasant, to the rhythm.
Published on 3 July 2002
to the editor