Gaute Storsve Trio – Attention: This is Not A Toy | For Adult Collectors Only

[Self-released, 2018]

Intro: Vangelis Christodoulou
Translation: V. Christodoulou, D. Κaltsas
26 / 02 / 2018

It was through Weserbergland’s self-titled album last year that (I guess) most of us first came across Gaute Storsve’s warm guitar tone and incredible, expressive playing. His jazz affinity became imminently apparent and it left us craving for more, wondering how he’d sound had the circumstances differed. This year’s Attention: This Is Not a Toy | For Adult Collectors Only – coming out in March – is here to amend that and let us admire Gaute in all his glory and through his own compositions, via the core of a jazz trio that’s occasionally being augmented by a full-blown brass section. Petter Barg on bass and Henning Carlsen on drums complete the trio with the guests being Jørgen Mathisen (of Krokofant and Rune your Day fame, and even Gard Nilssen’s Unity on occasion) on sax, Ketil Einarsen (Weserbergland of course, Wobbler and a ton more) on flute and the new for me Per Ottar Gjerstad on trumpet and Frank Bastrup Olsen on trombone.


We’re not playing games here

The self-titled opener sets the album on an incendiary mode, in what is basically a groovy fusion cut in AABA form, with interesting chord progression and melody and the brass section controlling the ebb and the flow between solos. Gaute and Jørgen are ripping it and you can’t help but notice the pulsating drum and bass conversation that is steadily building up. Coming up next is Unpredictable Smile, a beautiful son montuno ballad which is the first sample of Cuban music and its influence on Gaute whose having worked and lived in Cuba obviously rendered it impossible not to pick up the country’s distinct music language. Manatee Μorning is another example of that, with the trio becoming a conjunto performing a modal 6/8 over 4/4 afro-cuban number. I loved the brass work and especially Ketil’s sneaky flute interplays on this one, not to mention the wonderful groove – this should go without saying throughout the album. Homo Floreciensis is a breezy 14-bar 3-2 trio son, an absolutely dreamy track with some of the coolest guitar phrases I’ve heard. Gaute is cool on Las Americas as well, a 16-bar minor blues son with the brass assuming an Arsenio Rodriguez conjunto role, a bass solo and what is my favorite highlight on the album: Jørgen Mathisen going crazy (though a bit more careful than I’d like). Neverending Niqab Nights starts off with a drum solo and slowly evolves into an energetic 8-bar modal tumbao with Gaute laying down driven solos and adding – for the first time I believe – a 2nd guitar. His Voice is closing the album on a ballad tone, a 32-bar AABA that’s built to enhance the conversations between the trio members and underline their sensibilities. That track could go on forever. Gaute Storsve Trio’s debut is all I had suspected it should be by reading the press release notes and knowing about some of the involved parties. The overall undertone is that of the mix between two different schools: the latin exuberance and the nordic simplicity. Combined they turn into a vivid piece of art which I hope is the first of many for this creative bunch. I would certainly welcome a more “dangerous” approach (in terms of experimentation perhaps) but that’s my own fixation. Hasta luego!

8 / 10

Vangelis Christodoulou

 

2nd opinion

 

A few months after the debut of Weserbergland, Gaute Storsve’s solo debut is what anyone would want to hear after his great performance in that album. The high expectations are confirmed in Attention: This Is Not a Toy | For Adult Collectors Only, to say the least. Storsve’s achievement as a visionary along with his collaborators is, of course, primarily aesthetic. Storsve’s mild proggy jazz is absolutely successful mainly due to the high compositional level, the priceless, exact phrases and what takes off the result is that unique coolness element which can be heard everywhere in the album. Ketil Vestrum Einarsen is amazing once more, Jørgen Mathisen’s solo in Las Americas is enchanting, while Storsve proves why he deserves to be called by some (I hope many) as one of the most interesting guitarists today. His charismatic touch, the essential and absolutely sensual play, the narrative melodies, the expressive ease and his artistic clarity and purity are rare, especially today. This is a wonderful album.

8 / 10

Dimitris Kaltsas

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