CD: Helge Lien Trio 'Asymmetrics', jazzwise

jazzwise july 2004

12/07/2004 :: Helge Lien Trio 'Asymmetrics'

Helge Lien piano
Frode Berg bass
Knut Aalefjær drums

(Three our of five stars)

This is the second album by Lien’s trio. The first, Spiral Circle, from 2002 was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy awards in 2003. They present a mixture of originals and very personal versions of the established standards, here ‘Nardis,’ ‘Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most,’ ‘Beneath It All’ and ‘Autumn Leaves’ are deconstructed with skills and imagination. Lein’s originals often totter on the brink og abstraction, and this feeling of being on the edge, as on ‘Mann Av Huse Forbi’ gives their often reflective pieces unexpected drama. But Lien also plays his silences, knowing that within the overall framework of improvisation they can be as effective as a crashing cadence. Recording at the famous Rainbow Studios by Jan Erik Kongshaug, this has all the clarity of an ECM production and perfectly suits the often reflective nature of their often absorbing music.

Stuart Nicholson

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