Belgian-born, but living in Oslo and being strongly involved in the Norwegian scene, pianist Jonas Cambien makes his debut as a band leader with two of Norway’s most exciting players from the younger generation.
Cambien has a particular view of the way improvisation and written material can intertwine. Influenced by textures and methods of free improvised music, his compositions function as a sort of toolbox with a limited set of surprisingly simple ideas that form a starting point for complex improvisation and interplay. Out of abstract landscapes, a collage of recognizable rhythmic and melodic elements emerge, drawn back into abstraction by obsessive repetition.
One can hear a broad range of references, from jazz to contemporary music to folk music from non-existing countries, revealing the diverse backgrounds in which the musicians have been working. Drummer Andreas Wildhagen provides energetic rhythms with a healthy dose of free jazz, and reed player André Roligheten orchestrates with a broad pallet of sounds on bass clarinet and saxophones. On two tracks Roligheten plays tenor- and soprano saxophone simultaneously, making his horns sound like an african brass band, and making the band sound much larger than a trio. A solo by Cambien can go to Ligeti-land, revealing his classical background, and patterns of prepared piano sound like small malfunctioning machines.
All music is acoustic and recorded live by the trio themselves in their practice room, which gives the sound a DIY touch, and the music a raw, spontaneous energy.
“A Zoology of the Future” is very much like a box of surprises, one after the other after the other, for our astonished pleasure.