Bjørn Solli – Aglow: The Lyngør Project Volume 1 (2015): Something Else! sneak peek

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Inspired by the stark, natural beauty of Norway’s Lyngør archipelago but recorded half a world away at the nerve center of jazz, Bjørn Solli is bringing urban sophistication to rural beauty. Aglow: The Lyngør Project Volume 1 (street date May 4, 2015 from Lyngør Records) is the result of a commission the Norwegian guitar great received to write songs and record an album that draws its motivation from these group of islands. Take a look at the promo video above, and you’ll quickly realize that it’s simply impossible for an artist of Solli’s caliber to not be motivated to create something great in the midst of these surroundings.

He made good on the promise, too. From crisp bop to blues based bars to Nordic folk hymns to solemn waltzes – like “A Dog Named Fanny” sampled above — Bjørn Solli and his band make these songs conjured within the peaceful solitude of Lyngør come alive in the with the dynamic vitality of NYC.

The term “all-star” band is sometimes overused, but it accurately describes the group assembled for these recordings: Seamus Blake (saxes), Aaron Parks (piano), Matt Clohesy (bass), Bill Stewart (drums) and for some tunes, Ingrid Jensen are good enough to be in anyone’s band. Solli proves to be an astute bandleader, too, using (but not overusing) the vast talent at his disposal, by balancing and synchronizing these quality components. Bjørn Solli is no shabby technician himself, possessing a Pat Martino-like liquid vocabulary that’s rich in melodicism. His advanced improvisational abilities on display during the solo turn on “Rabalder,” to take one example, proves the point.

Conceived on a small island in the South of Norway and birthed with a crackerjack group of musicians in New York, an early listen of Aglow: The Lyngør Project Volume 1, reveals that it’s all it’s cracked up to be.

Visit Bjørn Solli’s website to find out more.

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