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For this new album under his own name, Norwegian saxophonist André Roligheten has chosen an unusual instrumentation, where the combined presence of vibraphone and pedal steel guitar adds a rare and charming color.

Charm is undoubtedly one of the key words to characterize “Marbles“, which opens with a sort of playful calypso where the tenor’s sound is in the tradition of the heirs of Coleman Hawkins: a big sound that doesn’t shy away from a certain gentleness.

The following compositions – all from the leader’s pen – are sometimes lively and festive, sometimes quieter, but always supported by supple, invigorating drums and solid, deep double bass.

The mingled sounds of vibraphone and pedal steel guitar form a melodic carpet over which the saxophone unfurls its sometimes raging solos of exemplary construction.

Clearly, one of Roligheten‘s primary concerns is melody, and he never strays from this path, on which the well-stamped sound of his saxophones enables him to vary the moods.

It’s a great pleasure to hear this aesthetic take shape over the course of the album.

All in all, this is a highly original, perfectly thought-out record that stands in stark contrast to some of Scandinavia’s hyper-produced, electronically manipulated productions. This is good acoustic jazz played by talented musicians and composed by a leader who has developed a full-bodied, original group sound, where improvisation naturally finds its place within finely chiselled arrangements.

Line Up:

André Roligheten: saxophones

Johan Lindström: pedal steel guitar

Mattias Ståhl: vibraphone

Jon Rune Strøm: double bass

Gard Nilssen: drums

Marbles was released by Odin Records on November 3, 2023.

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