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Nettavisen (Norway)
11. August 2009
by Tor Hammerø

A fresh breeze from Molde

It shouldn't be a surprise for anyone that Molde is delivering quality again with Daniel Herskedal.

During this years Molde Jazz Festival, tubist and composer Daniel Herskedal gave thanks to the talent award, which he received last year in Molde, with a concert to be remembered. He invited a Norwegian super team to interpret his own compositions - "Some City Stories"

Herskedal, who still has some years before he turns 30, is already telling the outside world – and we're talking about far from Harald's (the Norwegian king) borders - that he is a unique instrumentalist. He grew up with traditional jazz in Molde, later he studied at the jazz conservatory in Trondheim, and at the Rhytmical Music Conservatory in Copenhagen - where he currently teaches. His musical development has become more and more modern, and here we meet him in an unusual and exciting setting, playing with a melodic trio.

In January Herskedal met the Dutch trumpet and flugelhorn player Bert Lochs and the German pianist - both acoustic and electric - Dirk Balthaus. Lochs was the initiator and has written most of the tunes, but the two others also contributed, and Herskedal has written both the first and the last track.

Clearly we're hearing a unique band sound with this line up, and the melodical and lyrical ideals of the three are very coherent, making this a great experience. Lochs and Balthaus, who are based in The Netherlands, have played together for almost 20 years. When Lochs listened to the virtuous playing of Herskedal at a festival in The Netherlands some years ago, he immediately understood that they at some point "had to" play together. Based on this CD he was totally right.

This is all beautiful, lyrical, original and strong music based on melodies with power in it, and with three sparkling soloists. Herskedal elegantly joins the fine Norwegian tuba tradition based in Stein Erik Tafjord, and which among others is continued by David Gald and Lars Andreas Haug.

The trio Lochs Balthaus Herskedal has still not visited Norway. Someone has to make that happen as fast as possible - until then, this band's debut album is an excellent replacement.

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