Whenever people talk or write about Jazz music it never takes very long until someone mentions the „magic“ between the musicians. If you never really understood what it meant but were afraid to ask, let Karl Seglem explain. For almost a decade the Norwegian saxophonist with a fable for all types of goat horns has been playing together with the Acoustic Quartet, three younger musicians. Together they translate into music the true meaning of „magic“ in Jazz: discipline and freedom, trust and risk, feeling and energy.
Plus: a lot of fun.
Following „Norskjazz.no“ (2009) und „NyeSongar.no“ (2012) the new album „Nordic Balm“ is the third studio album of this formation with Karl Seglem, pianist Andreas Ulvo, bass player Sigurd Hole and Jonas Howden Sjøvaag on drums. Thanks to constant touring since 2008 the four are more than well-rehearsed, they form a unity – a real band. This process in itself is important to Karl Seglem, he describes the three albums as a trilogy and regards „Nordic Balm“ as the strongest and most important so far. But of course that is also due to the fact that „the most recent album is always the most important“.
All the elements that made Karl Seglem’s music so popular and successful come together on „Nordic Balm“: strong roots in Skandinavian Folk and World Music, a perfect balance of composition and improvisation, extremely skilled musicians and excellent sound quality. Yet there is also a pure joy of playing that urges through the cracks of this foundation and sometimes takes control over the band, for example on the manic goat horn heavy „Fjordskimmr“. From more measured songs like „Lys i glaset“ to up-tempo tracks like „Eidblome“ and the groove based „Ned Dalen“, that came to Karl Seglem on a hike in the Norwegian mountains, this sheer lust of playing carries the album and pushes it forward. Even „Balsam“, a song for Karl Seglems brother who is fighting cancer, never turns into a lament but instead celebrates his positive energy and will to live.
„We just make sounds and happen to sound like no other Jazz band in the world.“ Karl Seglem hits the nail on the head. Though it doesn’t usually make you that happy listening to other people „making sounds“.