Kongsberg Jazzfestival 2011 / Trondheim Jazzfestival 2013 - Maria Kannegaard

Maria Kannegaard returns to Jazzland with a brand new double live album! Two separate concerts recorded 2 years apart with two different line-ups that expand her usual trio format, the result is a perfect diptych that shows Kannegaard's compositional skills are on a permanent upward trajectory. 

"Tomorrow and The Porch" is the title of the first set, recorded at the Kongsberg Jazz Festival in July, 2011, and features vocalist Siri Gjære (who also provided the lyrics) in perfect form. Kannegaard's standard rhythm section of Ole Morten Vågan (Bass) and Thomas Strönen (Drums) is given additional expansion to include Jazzland regular Ola Kvernberg (violin), and the resulting sound is something utterly different from anything Kannegaard has released before. Where her previous albums for Jazzland ("Quiet Joy" and "Camel Walk") hinted at a composer who was clearly more than capable of creating arrangements with song-like qualities, here we are given irrefutable proof that she has a well-defined and important contribution to make to songwriting. At the same time, her penchant for mixing generic tropes in new ways remains joyfully intact, her further use of electronics adds greater textural colouring, and the structural and textural variations - as well as the improvisational passages - come to the fore at just the right moments. 

The second set, entitled "Før eller siden er det nå" was recorded at the Trondheim Jazz Festival in May, 2013. This set further develops the musical explorations found on "Tomorrow and The Porch", refining some, expanding most, and venturing into new territory. The Kongsberg line-up is also expanded to include Per Jørgensen (Trumpet, vocals, and percussion) and Ståle Storløkken (Synthesizer).  This set is an abstract journey of a kind, riddled with both earthly and cosmic qualities. Moments of naïve or childlike piano leap into complex textural explorations, post-minimalist rhythmic mazes are woven like Belle Époque radio towers, erratic whimsical moments launch into headlong dives towards unexpectedly serene landings. Melodies come and go like beloved guests, each treated with warmth in what would be – in lesser hands – a hostile environment. Kannegaard and her ensemble show exactly what taste and refinement, in musical terms, actually means.