The restless musical spirit of Bugge Wesseltoft continues its curious and extensive peregrinations across new sonic landscapes, discovering new textures, moods, and treasures. Accompanied by his friends Erik Truffaz, Ilhan Ersahin, Joe Claussell, Beady Belle, and Torun Eriksen, each expedition uncovers new combinations of classic jazz, club, funk, latin, soul with fresh energies.
Where the mood begins as something sedate, it can evolve into something ecstatic. Songs reverberate with an unyielding drive, and solos are traded with gusto and verve. Not a note is wasted, and every beat takes us on a brand new trip.
The ghost of Miles Davis smoking Havana cigars, or Eric Dolphy tuning into Detroit techno, or perhaps Thelonious Monk hang-gliding over Sao Paolo: any number of unlikely descriptions could be conjured to describe the music offered by Bugge & Friends, but none would give a true picture of the countless patterns, shades, tones, colours and textures that make up each of the tracks presented. And while each track has its own climate, its own landscape, the consistency of the musicians and their individual personal signatures appear in each one. Instruments come in pure acoustic and heavily treated forms, as well as electric variants, synthesisers, samples, and loops. The music is made up of intricate weaves and meshes that a listener could spend months trying to untangle: but there's no need to do that – this is joyous music, music for pleasure, improvisation and composition at their most life-affirming. Compulsory listening for fans of any of these superb musical companions.
Bugge Wesseltoft, leader of Bugge ‘n Friends, about his latest project:
I'm so proud of being able to present this fantastic line up of Friends and Heroes I have been so fortunate to hear and work with these past 10 years! The Bugge & Friends Project is all about presenting a community of music and international artists, all mixing jazz and electronic music together, with a deep mutual respect and a fascination for each other's worlds.
After establishing my concept "The New Conception Of Jazz” in 1996, mixing my jazz background with the inspirations and admiration for electronic club music, I got in touch with a whole new and fantastic music scene. Mid 90s is to me a small version of the late 60s (my favorite period in music), with a great openness and will to experiment throughout genres and musical directions. This period has been leading to the most interesting mixes of electronic music and Jazz.
One of the first artists I met on my way was the great trumpeter Erik Truffaz from France. We started mixing musical elements around the same time, him in France, myself in Norway. Then we did our first tour together in 2000, with Erik as guest in my group.
Going to clubs and listening to great DJs was the factor that really started my fascination for club music. I found an audience worshipping music through dancing and movement instead of clapping after a good solo, but is just as dedicated and knowledgeable about this type of music as the jazz audience that I was used to was about theirs. The way those amazingly skilled DJs worked and created an incredible dynamic energy with records blew me away totally. Their way of thinking with music reminded me of late 60s Miles, Coltrane, Sun Ra stuff. Long tracks building great dynamic waves. By talking to the DJs I found a deeply rooted openness, curiosity and understanding for music, and we totally met in a common interest for music, from Jazz to experimental stuff.
Hearing Joaquin Joe Claussell live for the first time at Saturos Beyond Festival in Sapporo was all about that. What a fantastic DJ! Treating records like a percussion instrument the crowd went mad - to put it mildly! So did I!
The fortune of being a musician carries me around the world and so I met Swedish/Turkish/American Saxophonist Ilhan Ersahin for the first time in one of the greatest cities in the world, Istanbul. The two of us also had a similar development, both of us running a label and a band (him Nublu Records and Nublu Orchestra, myself Jazzland Recordings and New Conception of Jazz), focused on mixing club and jazz music. In addition, Ilhan also ran the Nublu Club, one of the coolest and fast upcoming in New York.
Later, when asking all these incredible artists to join me in the Bugge & Friends project they were all into it! I'm so thankful! We had our first concert at the Oslo Jazz festival in August 2011. It was so much fun and we shared good vibes, both at the rehearsals and the concert. This type of music is all about artists and audience together, sharing and joining forces with the main purpose of creating good energy! I really think we did just that, and, if we are clever and lucky, I’m quite sure we will do it again!
Did I forget to mention I’m looking forward to the upcoming concerts? I AM!!!!