CD £11.99 RCD2151
CD on Rune Grammofon.
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LP £15.99 RLP3151
LP on Rune Grammofon.
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The Norwegian jazz/prog scene is a highly divisive topic at Norman Towers. On one side of the office there's me, Kim, Mike and Ian who will happily listen to Motorpsycho and El Doom all day long, and in the other camp there's Clint, Phil, Brian and Li'l Biz, all of whom would rather slice off their own ears than spend a day listening to the boisterous Norsk-prog grooves produced by the likes of Elephant9 or indeed Bushman's Revenge, who this week put out their sixth album in five years for Rune Grammofon. I'm not sure where Nathon or Ant stand on the matter so let's say they're neutral.
This trio, recently expanded to a foursome with the addition of keyboardist David Wallumrod, whose ever-present Hammond on this latest album gives the band's sound a thickness and warmth that gives the others all the more freedom to jazz off all over the place. And jazz off they do, with two of the five tracks here passing the 15 minute mark. As you have probably come to expect from this lot, it is quite spontaneous, rock-oriented and seriously groovy (they called the album 'Thou Shalt Boogie!' and it isn't just a clever name). The trio restlessly improvise colourful and lively patterns which swoop and swell, but there's also a restraint here, particularly evident during the shruti-box meditation of 'Baklengs Inn I Fuglekassa'.
Now they've got a Hammond it's hard not to draw comparisons to Elephant9's 'Atlantis' LP with Reine Fiske (speaking of whom, is he a permanent member of Motorpsycho now? Intriguing...) but this is far more rooted in heavy prog rock than their windswept jazz adventures. It's another Scandinavian voyage of prog jazz indulgence and envy-inducing musicianship which fans of the more rockist side of RG will lap up.
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