Eyolf Dale ‘Wolf Valley’ (Edition) 5/5

eyolf-daleThis is wholly original, challenging yet rewarding music, blending elements of contemporary classical music with jazz and other genres.
The group often sounds larger than eight in number. Unusual ensemble voicings emanate from tenor saxophone, trumpet, trombone, vibraphone and violin alongside the conventional jazz rhythm section of piano, bass and drums. All music is composed by Norwegian pianist, Dale. This is his third release under his own name. Each tune has multiple motifs moving into view and then receding only to be replaced by others. This is music that demands and rewards repeated listening – revealing its many musical secrets at a leisurely pace.
Silence plays almost as important a part in the compositions as the themes themselves. Saxophonist Andre Roligheten at times sounding reminiscent of Jan Garbarek, at others he brings to mind the stylings of our own Julian Argüelles. The fact that he doubles on clarinet adds yet a further texture to the ensemble.
The recorded sound is exemplary and the CD front cover image is evocative of the music itself. This is music, at least in part, which used to be termed ‘third stream’ or even ‘chamber jazz’. Some of the music evokes music for a film sound-track.
The album has been selected for a possible nomination for a Grammy in the 2017 awards in the ‘Best Instrumental Jazz Album’.
Just in case you are interested, the album’s title is a play on the leader’s name. In Norwegian, Eyolf means wolf and Dale means valley.
A strong release from the pianist leaving one wondering what he will come up with next.

Alan Musson