Viddal, Mathilde Groos/Chateau Neuf Fri Ensemble - Holding Balance
Fantastically good Norwegian jazz/new music big band led by composer and bass clarinetist/saxophonist Mathilde Groos Viddal. The most obvious comparison would be to Maria Schneider's work, but Mathilde and her ensemble have their own sound. She's utterly unknown here, but I can't believe that a great band like this can be ignored for long - especially as this is their debut recording! Unless you are completely allergic to jazz, this comes highly recommended!
"The CD Holding Balance is an exploration of the conceptual world of modern big band jazz. The listener is given a glimpse into Grooss Viddals tonal work; a blend of free-improvisasjon, humor, and strict composition. She is inspired by John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits, Carla Bley, by groove-based compositions, 20th century harmonies and free improvisation. The compositions serve as vehicles for showcasing the individual members’ improvisatory skills as well as constituting a musical entity in its own right. The strong focus on the compositions and their arrangements allows Chateau Neuf Fri Ensemble to make music that ranges over large spectres, from the free-flowing and intense to the lyrical and soothing."