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Romsdal Budstikke (Norway)
9. Juni 2009
by Petter Petterson

[...] Herskedal is a musician that many wants to cooperate with.

Among them is the Dutch trumpet player Bert Lochs, who in several years has played with piano player Dirk Balthaus from Germany. The result of this cooperation, exists on a CD, where the trio during a bit more than an hour plays originals, most of them written by Lochs. The line-up trumpet, piano/rhodes and tuba makes an open musical lansdscape where it is nothing to hide behind. If you're not good enough, you'll be ruthlessly busted.

But at the same time this format gives skillful musicians the opportunity to show individual mastership, as well as transparent interplay and collective development of themes. The gentlemen Lochs, Balthaus and Herskedal are skillful musicians. In such a line-up, the tuba is partially the glue in the ensemble, and Herskedal govern this role completely, with ostinates, bass lines and fully toned legato passages. He also delivers many glorious efforts as a soloist, and I never get tired of the multiphonic sequenses that very few on this earth would've done better than him.

Lochs is a fine trumpet player, with a big fat sound, and a way of expressing himself that reflects big parts of jazz history. Balthaus does a clever job on the piano, quite European in his tonal language, and slightly stiff rhytmically. Together, the trio delivers a complete musical product, with a personal way of expression, which is innovative, but clearly also a connection with the whole jazz tradition.

The CD-cover has no text or information but a list of the compositions, line-up and a drawn portrait of the three musicians (no one checked the spellings, since young Daniel was given the last name Herkedal). The CD has no distribution in Norway, the easiest would be to order it online from www.lochsbalthausherskedal.nl, which I would recommend, both jazz- and music enthusiasts in general, to do. On the same webpage, you may also listen to some teasers of the music.

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