Over the last few years, Anders Lønne Grønseth has come out with a number of notable projects of genre-crossing nature, such as the poly-stylistic Mini Macro Ensemble, the raga-jazz quintet Bhattacharya/Grønseth/Wessel and his classically influenced duo with pianist David Skinner. With his new quintet, the Norwegian saxophonist and composer seeks back to his jazz roots. Influences from Indian and Arabic music traditions and classical modernism continue to colour his work, but further below the surface than in his recent projects. Multiverse is undoubtfully an offspring of jazz tradition, in one of the genre’s most classic formats.
Six compositions by Grønseth provide a platform for the quintet’s elaborations, where the term “structured freedom” may best describe their way of interpretation. Very little is pre-decided; neither tempos nor grooves, barely form or order, as they maintain an improvisational approach to the material. Rather, the music springs out of the interplay between the five musicians, with Grønseth’s compositions as framework and source of inspiration.
Multiverse is the cosmological idea of parallel universes. Grønseth’s Multiverse is about the microcosmos: The individual perspectives of five musicians on the material they are performing, and how they unite in one musical output. It’s also about the possibility, idea and contrafactual principle that things aren’t necessarily what they seem to be – a simple change in perspective can truly change one’s conception of reality.
Dualism and pluralism are keywords for several aspects within the music. Songs like Parallelism, Holographic and Possible Worlds are constructed of two equivalent melodic lines spun around each other in a contrapuntal web of melodic movements. The listener may choose perspective, zoom in or out, to recognize several melodic levels at once. In Möbiusstrimmel, four simultaneous lines make out the melodic maze.
Grønseth’s use of tonality stands out from conventional major and minor by the presence of several key centers at once. Holographic is based on one of Olivier Messiaen’s famous Modes of Limited Transpositions, while Parallelism, Accelerated Expansion and Möbiusstrimmel are carved out of Grønseth’s self-developed tonality system Bitonal Scales (read more: http://andersgronseth.weebly.com/ideas--thoughts.html).
The effect may be a feeling of weightlessness or ambiguity, when the gravity of conventional functional harmony is challenged. Again, it’s the choice of perspective and the selectivity of the listenening ear that will determine how the music is perceived.
More than anything, Multiverse is a jazz band of five ingenious improvisors, sharing the urge for exploring and going in depth with their material, using interplay as a catalyst for taking the music to new places. This self-titled album is the band’s debut, and a second album is to be expected in Spring 2019
Anders Lønne Grønseth
(b. 1979) made his debut in 2001 with the quartet Sphinx, who were active for well over a decade, producing six albums and touring in several corners of the world. Coming out of a 1960s expressionistic “post-Coltrane” school, Grønseth sought inspiration in music of other cultures, such as India and the Middle East as well as western classical and contemporary music. This has led him to develop a distinct aesthetic style, as heard in his respective collaborations with British pianists David Skinner and Matthew Bourne, his chamber group Mini Macro Ensemble and the Indo-jazz quartet Bhattacharya/Grønseth/Wessel, comprising musicians from Norway, India and USA.
(b. 1983) leads his own trio in addition to being involved in projects like Eyolf Dale’s mini big-band Wolf Valley , Egyptian world music star Natascha Atlas and quintet Bridges with Seamus Blake. Hayden has also been involved with Trondheim Jazz Orchestra on numerous occasions, including a project with his own band Magic Pocket.
(b.1983) has made quite a mark on the Norwgian jazz scene with his work on solo piano, his own trio and as a composer and band leader in one of Trondheim Jazz Orchestra's recent productions. He is also involved in projects with musicians such as Seamus Blake, Silje Nergaard, Mathias Eick and Marius Neset.
(b. 1979) has played with Anders Lønne Grønseth since the two met as students in 1998, most notably in the quartet Sphinx. He also leads his own bands, such as jazz-rock group Audun Automat and chamber-pop duo 1816.
(b. 1974) is one of Iceland’s most active musicians. He has taken part on well over 100 albums in all genres from rock to symphonic classical music. With his own quartet he has also proven to be anexquisite composer, and has been rewarded on three occasions from the Icelandic Music Awards for his music