DAMANA, the octet of Dag Magnus Narvesen, assembles some of the very best jazz musicians in Norway, coming from slightly different corners of jazz. Some of them, you might have heard of already, like the reed section of the band – Kristoffer Alberts, Jørgen Mathisen and André Roligheten – who all come from the more progressive parts of the Norwegian jazz scene. The brass players – Hayden Powell and Kristoffer Kompen – are also familiar names for anyone who listens to lyrical jazz and traditional New Orleans jazz made in Norway. The young, and very exciting Øyvind Dale shows a deep integrity and musical mastery of the piano and comes across as a name for the future, and Adrian Myhr is one of the most innovative and versatile bass players in the field of improvised music.
With this strong team, Narvesen guides his fellow musicians to some of the corners of his musical universe on their debut album “Cornua Copiae”. Although he might be operating slightly under the Scandinavian jazz radar, Narvesen is no light-weight himself, frequently playing and collaborating with some of the heaviest names on the European progressive avant-garde jazz scene.
With one foot in the free jazz tradition and the other stepping into free improvised music territory, this mini-big band is exploring new possibilities without forgetting what’s still valid in the old ones. The music is exciting, vibrant and sometimes even urgent, with that kind of vigor, freshness and wonder only possible through players with a deep musical sincerity and strong artistic conviction.