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Avant-garde jazz trumpeter Nils Petter Molvær was born on the small Norwegian island of Sula in 1960, and though he learned a lot playing in local bands, in 1979 he chose to leave his hometown to study at the conservatory in Trondheim. As a member of the nu jazz group Masqualero, Molvær became associated with the ECM label, which later released his first solo material. In 1998, Khmer, which incorporated ambient, house, and electronic sounds along with his trumpet, came out, followed two years later by Solid Ether, an album that also saw a remix version in 2001's Recoloured. In 2002 NP3 was released, and three years later ER, in which he allowed more space for programmers like DJ Strangefruit and Reidar Skår, was issued. In 2006 Thirsty Ear took the honors for Molvær's An American Compilation, a record that was meant to introduce a United States audience to the experimental and genre-bending musician. ~ Marisa Brown