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Album Review

Guitarist Ivar Grydeland and bassist Tonny Kluften are two-thirds of the core trio behind the improv collective No Spaghetti Edition. Here, drummer Paul Lovens seems to be subbing for the third third, Ingar Zach. They form a suitable trio on paper, but reality is somewhat different. Lovens' legendary jerky, fragmented playing finds resonance in Grydeland's Derek Bailey-derived approach. And when the guitarist picks up a banjo for the second of These Six's untitled pieces, one briefly thinks of Lovens' longstanding musical partnership with Eugene Chadbourne, before the trio moves into a very different region. This is a laid-back session, almost comfortable in a free improv context: no harsh or brutal onslaughts, no extremely arid sound research. The music sounds casual, even a bit too casual starting with the fourth piece (the fifth definitely lacks focus, despite some beautiful playing from Grydeland). Kluften's bass gives a slightly jazz tone to the session, especially in the first and fourth pieces, but Lovens' playing — weighting much more toward texture than rhythm, cymbal and junk metal than drum — is anything but jazz, and is a frequent aural marvel. After a couple of strong improvisations, especially the second one, which ranks among the longer tracks at 11 minutes, the album loses some of its momentum, as if the players had already fished out all their ideas and couldn't decide what to do next — like a conversation with an acquaintance running cold and embarrassing after only a topic or two. A conscious move toward quieter, more detached music in the second half, or a meeting that didn't go quite right? You decide. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Born: 1976 in Trondheim, Norway

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s

Ivar Grydeland belongs to a young generation of Norwegian jazzmen that quickly took Scandinavia and Europe by storm starting in 2000. A co-founder of the avant-garde jazz/free improv label Sofa, this guitarist has performed in one of Tony Oxley's trios and is a core member of No Spaghetti Edition. Grydeland was born in 1976. From 1996 to 2000 he studied at the music academy in his hometown Trondheim, an institution also frequented in those years by Paal Nilssen-Love, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Ingar...
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These Six, Ivar Grydeland
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