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Vogel (Bird) by Lars-Erik Norrstrom Trio

Although the line-up may appear to be a typical piano trio, let there be warning that it is not. Lars-Erik Norrstrom is quite a different musician with many different influences streaming through. His keyboard skills show a definite nod to Chick Corea, without losing any originality. On the other hand, his few subdued, logical acoustic piano tunes can be compared to that of Keith Jarrett, or Brad Mehldau, or even Tord Gustavsen. Either way one looks at it, the Lars-Erik Norrstrom Trio is something fresh and new.

From the opening chord of the entire disc, Norrstrom takes the ears of the listener to an ominous place full of uncertainty and wonder. While throughout, he leaves the listener uneasy after certain tracks such as "Ice Flowers," and "It's a Long Way to Vase." Norrstrom then turns around to deliver magic in the contentment of tracks like "Saknad." Let it also be known that Norrstrom is not the only wizard of this trio. On tracks like "Hannele's Sea, "drummer/percussionist Terje Sundby creates the effect of rising and falling waves with his cymbals which brings the perfect compliment to the track title. Bassist Bruno Raberg plays a mystical opening to "Saknad." The track "Dirge" starts out with an angelic opening that sounds like a choir of angels simultaneously crying out in sorrow. While tracks like "Vogel V" and "New Hope" display Norrstrom's synthesizer skills, other tracks like "June" and "Vogel II" just sound like Norrstrom is lost and searching for something or anything.

This album is for those searching for a new voice or for an up-and-coming trio that will possibly make waves in the jazz idiom. The reason this disc only received three stars is because there are moments of searching madness, and reversely there are moments of sheer beauty. This trio has an abundance of potential, as long as they stick to mainly acoustic settings. The "searching synthesizer sound" sounds very outdated at times and brings the album down as a whole, whereas the acoustic side of this trio brings out their full capacity of potential in the most radiant ways.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Lars-Erik Norrstrom Trio
  • CD Title: Vogel (Bird)
  • Genre: Progressive
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: LJ Records
  • Tracks: June, Hologram, New Hope, Reflections, Vogel II, Vogel XIV, Vogel III, Vogel V, Installation III, Dirge, Ice Flowers, Piano Surprise, Saknad, Its a Long Way to Vase
  • Musicians: Lars-Erik Norrstrom (piano, keyboard, soprano recorder), Terje Sundby (drums, percussion), Bruno Raberg (bass)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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