Music Review

27 Nov 2012
Formats also available: CD, MP3 download
CD, MP3 download

What is it about scandinavians and jazz? They are all at it and an awful lot are rather good, this debut from Moskus puts them in the latter category. A piano trio whose members are in their early twenties Moskus ispianist Anja Lauvdal, double bass player Frederik Luhr and drummer Hans Hulbaekmo, all three are alumni of the Trondheim Conservatory of Music and two have been in Swedish rock bands. So this is by no means straight ahead jazz but it it is influenced by it and occasionally reveals that bedrock, more often however it is free flowing, loose and intuitive. Ocasionally introspective, sometimes outgoing but never aggressive nor humdrum, Moskus makes natural, organic music that slots into the jazz genre not least by virtue of the instruments played. It owes something to est and Tord Gustavsen but equally to Jaga Jazzists the Norwegian neo proggers, but essentially carves its own initials into the park bench that is nordic jazz.

I am particularly taken with the piano playing of Lauvdal, maybe it's because female pianists who don't sing are so rare in this field but she seems to bring a playful effortlessness to the sound that is all to rare in this sphere. The vinyl pressing gives this album a real head start, it sounds gorgeous with rich tone and no sense of digital grain although it was presumably recorded on a hard drive. A salmesykkel by the way is a hymn bicycle which apparently what nordic types call a harmonium/reed organ/pump organ, but there are none of those here.

Jason Kennedy