Håvard Wiik Trio ~ Postures
Håvard Wiik is pianist with Atomic who, from some online research, is clearly better known in Europe than the UK or States - only three of Google’s first thirty results are in English. Mats Eilertsen is bass player with Food, Iain Ballamy’s Anglo-Norwegian project, and Per Oddvar Johansen is drummer with Christian Wallumrod’s Close Erase project. ‘Ball, Play’ starts abruptly, in fact it feels like opening the door on a performance that’s already been underway for half an hour. Wiik explores the mid to lower ranges of his piano with an insistence verging on severity while the rhythm section busy themselves beneath and around him, Johansen’s drums flickering like the whistle of sniper fire. This is driving, modern jazz. ‘Revolving’ introduces a warmer mood and more space with the result that the trio’s interplay is looser and more playful. Eilertsen’s limber bass moves quickly to the fore, climbing up and slipping down as if on a scree slope. ‘Schlemihl’ returns to the almost stringent air of ‘Ball, Play’ with Wiik’s playing forceful and dramatic as he tosses out flurries of notes, tense like bent fingers. There’s a complex intelligence and dense power to this trio which becomes ever more evident as they gain momentum. ‘Postures’, though at times warm-hearted is also a serious and demanding piece of work which never strays into the sentimental. By turns vigorous, wise and contemplative, it’s a very enjoyable recording.
Published by Jazzwise magazine