Nordic Balm is a CD that gives you contemporary Norwegian jazz at its best. Over 30 years tenor saxophonist Karl Seglem has composed, produced and written lyrics and is called one of Norway’s foremost musicians. On this CD he demonstrates that he is also a great goat horn player.
Seglem has consistently extended musical frontiers with his original perspectives and daring improvisational style. He combines Norway’s rich folk music traditions, both the vocal traditions and specially the Hardanger fiddle music, with his own mode of expression.
It takes a long time to gain acceptance for new idioms that are built on the sounds of previous generations. “My dream of recording an acoustic jazz album had matured through performing, composing, and releasing CDs since 1988. And for a long time, maybe even since I began my career as a freelance-musician I had been inspired by a dream of recording an acoustic album with a jazz quartet,” says Seglem.
It’s a great experience to hear these four musicians with pianist Andreas Ulvo, bassist Sigurd Hole and drummer Jonas H. Sjøvaag interacting with Karl Seflems tenor saxophone and goat horn.
In 2010 Seglem was awarded the Buddy Award (highest Norwegian jazz award), in 2012, he received Egil Storbekkens Music Award and “Composition of the year” for “Som spor”, his commissioned work to the Vossa Jazz Festival that year.
Seglem creates modern soundscapes, a mix between jazz, folk, world, where improvisation and composition are given equal weight, where melody, harmony, improvisation, rhythm, and structure are based on other roots and other traditions than those of North America.
Listen to the minimalist mood on the opening track, “Balsam” (Balm) or the magic-like description in “Myrull” (Cotton grass). These are just two examples that show the grandeur of the quartet’s concept.
Seglem has been collaborating with many of the foremost Norwegian and foreign musicians, writers, painters, film-makers as well as dancer and choreographers.
“Now, close to 2017, releasing the third studio-album Nordic Balm with this quartet, I know I have reached some goals, and new ones still appears – Thank you Andreas, Sigurd and Jonas. Thank you all listeners still listening,” said Karl Seglem last autumn.
Written by Tor Kjolberg