on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2014 17 Aug

Seminar activities at Punkt (1)

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

Luca Vitali – „Il Suono del Nord ‐ La Norvegia protagonista della scena jazz Europea” (The Sound of the North – Norway champion of the European jazz scene)


This is the first monograph dealing with the small, Norwegian jazz scene. A gap has finally been bridged with the reconstruction of a story which, by analysing the key moments, acknowledges the fundamental role played by Norway in Europe to emancipate jazz from its Afro‐American roots. The journey began in the 60s with the arrival in Oslo of George Russell, who brings us right up‐to‐date to give us one of the world´s most innovative and original scenes. The author transforms this journey into a passionate tale of concerts, musicians, clubs and labels, festivals and meetings … such as the one in Bologna between Manfred Eicher, future patron of ECM, and the very young Jan Garbarek, the prelude to a close association which was to open the gateways of the world to Norwegian jazz, bringing international success not only to Garbarek, but also to an entire „ECM generation“. The book endeavours to clarify the role of the numerous ECM recordings in Oslo and of the historic Club7 and Blå.

It analyses the most significant phases of a scene in which the tales and stories of some of its Norwegian and non‐Norwegian protagonists have been constantly evolving over the last forty years. It explores the connections between jazz and other musical genres, it analyses the influence of political movements, and attempts to reconstruct the environments – the clubs, dance halls, theatres and professional conditions.

Each useful element is processed as part of a global investigation, and close attention is paid to detail, which never becomes encyclopaedic. Numerous are the names, stories and musical experiences travelling across these pages, because this is Norway: a young country with an unobtrusive tradition and a proud people, which has lived in relative isolation from the rest of Europe, endowed with a spirit of adventure which perhaps relates back to the Viking era. All this means that, today, Norway offers a highly effervescent scene with a powerful interior drive in search of a personal style. Mediated by its vocation for improvisation (the real essence of contemporary Norwegian jazz) this style is expressed in a universe of music that fuses together a vast panoply of sounds ‐ from Ligeti to Björk via Coltrane, King Crimson and Frank Zappa ‐ without the usual hang ups of: „Is this jazz, or is this not jazz?“.


Publisher: Auditorium Edizioni

Preface by Paolo Fresu, introduction by Fiona Talkington (BBC Radio3) and Jan Granlie (Jazznytt)

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