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Hit Couleurs JAZZ

Norwegian keyboardist Kjetil Mulelid’s music is richly colored.

Depending on the track, he varies formulas – from trio with bass and drums to sextet – and brings in a violin, saxophone and trumpet here, two saxophones there and a vibraphone elsewhere, while switching from acoustic piano to Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes or synthesizer.

The result is a great variety of colors, and the various guests participate fully in the sound mix, whose homogeneity is ensured by the fact that, with the exception of one track, the compositions are all from the pen of the leader.

He cultivates a cantabile vein, and most of his themes are lilting, even hymnal, without this tendency going as far as a ditty. Bardur Reinert Poulsen‘s acoustic and electric bass contribute to this diversity of timbres, as does the choice of particularly distinctive blowers such as Mathias Eick and Arve Henriksen on trumpet and Trygve Seim on tenor saxophone.

It’s partly a who’s who of the Norwegian jazz scene that Mulelid has summoned here, and these musicians – who are also leaders of their own bands – have taken on the role of sidemen with palpable pleasure, particularly in their solo performances.

All in all, we have a music that is highly seductive on the surface, but also admirably orchestrated in its underpinnings, distilling a remarkably smooth pulse while highlighting skillfully constructed melodies that, in places, make solos unnecessary as the melodic material stands on its own.

Line up:

Kjetil Mulelid: piano, keyboards

Bardur Reinert Poulsen: basses

Andreas Winther: drums

Signe Emmeluth: alto sax

Trygve Seim: tenor sax

Martin Myhre Olsen: tenor and soprano saxes

Sasha Berliner: vibraphone

Selma French: violin

Luder Røed, Mathias Eick, Arve Henriksen: trumpet

Agoja was realeased by Odin Records on March 22, 2024. It is a “Hit Couleurs Jazz” in Selection on Couleurs Jazz Radio.

©Header Photo by Eirik Havnes

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