Rune Grammofon present the ultimate results of The Last Hurrah!!’s Vossajazz Festival commission: an album of jazz-and-beyond music from Norway. Main man HP Gundersen marshalls the talents of multi instrumentalist and singer Maesa Pullman and engineer and co-producer Jason Hiller. Los Angeles features their excellent musicianship, greatly executed.
LP £19.49 RLP3202
LP on Rune Grammofon.
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CD £12.99 RCD2202
CD on Rune Grammofon.
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Wait, what? This can’t be right… Can it? Rune Grammofon, usually / always known for its most Scandinavian of jazz explorations have released this album of -- there’s no other way to put this, frankly -- Americana. Very attractive and perfectly crafted Americana, and very prettily performed and sung at that. ‘Los Angeles’ was presumably inspired by the (in)famous West Coast USA city of the same name and here HP Gundersen and his band (The Last Hurrah!!) have channeled the roots of the country (and Country with a capital 'C') impeccably.
Guitars chug into the great beyond as pedal-steel twangs conjure up tumbleweed and a horn section represents the soul of the Southwest. Talking of sultry; on vocals, Maesa Pullman -- daughter of famed actor Bill, by the way -- coos sweetly in a straightforward, plainspoken down-home style. Hard to imagine the project’s origins as a commissioned piece for the Vossajazz festival in the picturesque fjord-side village of Voss, in western Norway. But it’s kinda nice: a whole heap of easy stew with a side-order of jazz fries. Special sauce optional.
Yes, the commercial appeal of this disc caught me off guard but I’m back in the saddle now.
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