New trio album from one of Europe’s most innovative jazz musicians exploring the link between romantic classical songs and Scandinavian jazz.
Nine years ago, the young saxophonist on the verge of an international career was taken away when he heard opera for the first time at the Met in New York. What started as a young Norwegian jazz rebel’s sudden passion for the music of the classical canon, has now grown into a musical species entirely of its own. Håkon Kornstad has astonished and touched a steadily growing audience around the world with his complete openness to music.
– Music moves this way, if you ask me. What is “modern jazz” today anyway? That expression is a hundred years’ old, and today it’s over fifty years since Coltrane and Stravinsky were changing music. An equal number of years back from their time, and we’re in the age of Romanticism. So I guess the Zeitgeist in 2018 is that anything is contemporary, as long as it tells a story and comes from your heart.
The selection of songs and arias by among others Tosti, Mascagni, Verdi, Grieg and Wagner (the title track) also calls for a highly original and invigorating mixture of drama and meditation. The title Im Treibhaus (In the greenhouse) is taken from Richard Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, and is featured in an instrumental version on the album.
– Some songs just work, and speak directly to the jazz improvisers in us. Others need more editing and arranging. And then there are those that will never work, even though we tweak them ever so much. I’m very happy with the selection on this album. Im Treibhaus is both much more of a jazz album and classical album at the same time, than something that I’ve ever done before.
Welcome to a neo-Victorian nachspiel with three of Norway’s finest improvisers, presenting the music history in a new way. Without boundaries, and with a lot of surprises, the album is a true expression of Håkon Kornstad’s rare accumulation of musical influences.