Pixel - We Are All Small Pixels
"... one of the most memorable moments of the [Match and Fuse Festival]." – DownBeat
"Jazz doesn't usually equate to instant enjoyment or accessibility, but this Norwegian quartet...is great fun. Bassist/bandleader Ellen Andrea Wang anchors this collection of tidy instrumentals and catchy vocal numbers with strong, inventive bass lines. I imagine Pixel make a lot of new friends every time they play in front of an unsuspecting jazz fest crowd." – Difficult Music blog
Following up on their acclaimed 2012 debut Reminder, which established Pixel as a bold new voice on the international jazz scene, the young Oslo-based quartet delivers a exuberant second album that makes a mighty big musical statement. Led by double bassist, vocalist, and songwriter Ellen Andrea Wang, the combo further refines its fervently creative vision with We Are All Small Pixels, a genre-smashing manifesto that translates ancient spiritual insight into the digital age.
Featuring Wang on bass and lead vocals, drummer Jon Audun Baar, trumpeter Jonas Kilmork Vemøy and saxophonist Harald Lassen, Pixel features the instrumentation inextricably linked to Ornette Coleman’s epochal 'free jazz' quartet of the late 1950s and early ‘60s. The band takes advantage of the harmonic space created by the absence of a chordal instrument, but Pixel favors tightly orchestrated tunes and intricately constructed arrangements. With sudden metrical shifts, starkly contrasting textures and Wang’s vocals delivered in unison with the horns, the resulting sound is transfixing and unlike anything else on the jazz scene today.
Pixel's music is fun and youthful, but it doesn't pander. The most radical thing about them as a crossover band is that they move back and forth stylistically between free jazz and indie pop without changing who and what they are at their heart. No matter where they are on the stylstic contiuum, they are always an acoustic quartet.
Since their founding in 2010, the group has won numerous awards in Norway and appeared at the largest festivals throughout Scandinavia. The group stands at the forefront of a rising generation of jazz players who are remaking jazz in their own image, and doing so for an audience that is hungry for something new and reflects modern day sounds in creative music.