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Thomas Strønen — Time Is A Blind Guide (2015) {ECM 2467}

Thomas Strønen — Time Is A Blind Guide (2015) {ECM 2467}

 Thomas Strønen — Time Is A Blind Guide (2015) {ECM 2467}                                                         ♦   The line–up’s instrumentation is a result of my wish of incorporating several ensembles within the framework of a larger ensemble. It’s partly based on a vision of a string section with bass, cello, violin and viola d’amore as I’ve written extensively for strings, and partly based on a vision of a percussion ensemble and an extended piano trio — all of which will be framed within a band that I envision as a chamber ensemble manned by strong, expressive musicians. The compositions are highly melodic, and the notaion of ‘time’ is a key theme, also in a purely compositional context as witnessed by the challenging rhythm patterns, but also in terms of what is not overtly expressed and the extensive use of space in the compositions.
Location:  Oslo, Norway
Genre: Jazz / Modern Creative / Avant–Garde Jazz / Drums / Percussion
Album release: 2015
Record Label: ECM
Duration:
Tracks:
01 The Stone Carriers
02 Baka , Tide
03 Everything Disappears I
04 Pipa
05 I Don’t Wait for Anyone
06 The Drowned City
07 Lost Souls
08 Everything Disappears II (Ode to Jt)
09 Time Is a Blind Guide
10 As We Wait for Time
11 Simples
© 2015 ECM Records | ECM 2467
Personnel:
♦   Thomas Strønen: drums and percussion
♦   Kit Downes: piano
♦   Håkon Aase: violin
♦   Ole Morten Vågan: double bass
♦   Lucy Railton: cello
♦   Siv Øyunn Kjenstad: percussion
♦   Steinar Mossige: percussion
♦   Time Is A Blind Guide is both the title of Thomas Strønen’s album and the name of his new Norwegian–British ensemble. In contrast to Food and its electronic soundscapes, TIABG is an all–acoustic group which plays what its drummer–leader–composer calls “melodic music with a twist.” Its melodies unfurl sinuously over shifting rhythmic patterns. The band was built to include a number of overlapping musical sub–groups.
♦   “There is a kind of enhanced piano trio at the centre of Time Is A Blind Guide,” says Strønen. “And there is a string group with violin and cello and bass — over the years I’ve written lots of music for strings — as well as a drum ensemble with me and Siv Øyunn Kjenstad and Steinar Mossige…” The two percussionists often assert strong and solid grooves, allowing Strønen to play freely on top of the rhythms and to interact dynamically with the outstanding young English pianist Kit Downes, who makes his ECM debut here. Time Is A Blind Guide was recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow Studio in July 2015.
Review
John Fordham, Thursday 5 November 2015 18.30 GMT / Score: ****
♦   Late Junction broadcaster Fiona Talkington’s enthusiasm for Norwegian percussionist Thomas Strønen led to this commission for him to invent a new Norway/UK lineup and compose for it. Thus British pianist Kit Downes and his improv/classical cello partner Lucy Railton join five Norwegians for an unusual brew of jazz piano, northern–European laments, gamelan and African–influenced grooves from three percussionists. Downes’s fluent avant–swing, alongside Strønen and bassist Ole Morten Vågan, creates the impression of a jazz piano trio finding itself in a room with an ethereal strings–and–drums chamber group, and though some of it is slow and impressionistic, it’s often jazzy and songlike, too. There are warmly acoustic, all–percussion interludes, tone–bending violin passages, and, on the title track, a rocking folk melody and Jarrettish improv against muscular, tone–rich drumming. If crossover means anything, this is a fascinating example. ♦   http://www.theguardian.com/
Also:
Cormac Larkin, Fri, Nov 13, 2015, 00:00 / Score: ****
♦   http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/music/thomas-str%C3%B8nen-time-is-a-blind-guide-album-review-1.2427006
Website: http://www.thomasstronen.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thomasstronen
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Thomas Strønen — Time Is A Blind Guide (2015) {ECM 2467}

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