Jazzwise magazine (UK) | Guzuguzu

Helge Lien Trio
Ozella OZ070CD ****
(four out of five stars)

Helge Lien is one of Norway’s most accomplished pianists, stylistically broad, as he showed during his period as Silje Nergaard’s accompanist, he brought a personal vision into sharp focus with 2008’s Hello Troll and its follow up, 2010’s Natsukashii with Berg on bass and Knut Aalefjær on drums. Continue reading “Jazzwise magazine (UK) | Guzuguzu”

Jazzinorge.no | Guzuguzu

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Helge Lien Trio

PLATE: Helge Lien Trios niende album er en åpenbaring av sterke låter og strålende formidling.

Tre år er gått siden utgivelsen av fin-fine «Badgers and Other Beings», Helge Lien Trios åttende album, og det første med Per Oddvar Johansen som trommeslager. På aprilferske «Guzuguzu» består bandet stadig av pianist og komponist Lien, kontrabassist Frode Berg og nevnte Johansen, og nok en gang signerer de en formidabel leveranse der både hver enkelt melodi og albumets musikkdramaturgiske helhet bæres fram av kreativitet og ferdigheter på skyhøyt nivå. Continue reading “Jazzinorge.no | Guzuguzu”

All about jazz | Badgers and other beings

By  Jakob Baekgaard
5 1/2 of 6 stars
Since he signed to Dagobert Böhm’s Ozella Music, Norwegian pianist Helge Lien has reached a new artistic plateau with his trio. Hello Troll (Ozella, 2008) was an immediate success that showcased the group’s lyricism and tight interplay and the spacious beauty of Natsukashii (Ozella, 2010) added new colors to a wide musical vocabulary rooted in the Nordic aesthetic.

Continue reading “All about jazz | Badgers and other beings”

Downbeat July 2014 | Badgers and other beings

Norway’s Helge Lien Trio is a mirror back to America of what the jazz-piano trio has sounded like over the decades, full of rumination, romance but also some bite. The trio’s third release for Ozella suggests an underlying narrative that’s less “Stardust” and more roving star. “Mor” opens the set with something akin to what one might have heard from Keith Jarrett in the late 1970s—minus horns—with a dash of Esbjörn Svensson. Both “Joe” and the dream- like “Hvalen” avoid a swing feel for more of a danceable, free-flow rhythm, a mattress that the music tosses and turns on, full of chords and flowing gestures—restless without being pointless.

Veterans all, composer-pianist Helge Lien, bassist Frode Berg and drummer Per Oddvar Johansen are clearly of one mind. There’s a patience to these tunes that coincides with an underlying, undefinable unease, the combination a subtle fascination. “Hoggormen” sports a deft left-hand chordal movement from Lien that keeps you listening for what’s coming next in this soft tumbler of a rocking funk tune that threat- ens to but never boils over. Solo spots throughout

this CD—the poetic “Badger’s Lullaby” is a perfect example—keep us listening to everyone, again the accent being on a trio and not just one voice, the piano at its center.

—John Ephland
(four stars)