Frode Haltli – Avant Folk II (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/48 kHz | Time – 40:23 minutes | 442 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Hubro
The opening track of ‘Avant Folk’ is like a dream of what contemporary experimental folk-meets-jazz-meets-chamber-music might be. Composed by Frode Haltli, ‘Hug’ begins with a galumphing off-centre rhythm that could be an accompaniment to elephants waltzing before the wheezing bellows-breath of Haltli’s accordion creates delightfully airy whispers of noise that drift across the other instruments like wisps of cloud across the sky.
Then we get the entry of the theme, a compulsive Nordic ear-worm folk melody led by Hardanger fiddle and violin that’s half woozy sea-shanty and half universal pan-African groove, backed up by shuffle-beat drumming like Ed Blackwell with Ornette Coleman. As if that wasn’t enough for one tune already, the music continues to evolve, with a beautifully poised improvised solo on trumpet by Hildegunn Øiseth that sounds so perfect it should really win some kind of award on its own. The groove slows down, the elephant waltz returns to form a satisfyingly symmetrical conclusion and the music gradually resolves into silence, bringing to an end what has been seven and a half minutes of continuous invention. It’s quite a performance, and quite a band, the dectet of expert players covering enough instruments between them to simulate the tonal breadth of a full orchestra while retaining the humble, home-made aesthetic of a traditional folk ensemble, matching compositional sophistication and individual virtuosity with collective empathy and hard-won grace.
01. Frode Haltli – Doggerland (08:48)
02. Frode Haltli – Nordlys (10:34)
03. Frode Haltli – Gravberget (09:41)
04. Frode Haltli – I Østen som i Vesten (All Over the Place) (11:18)