Jonas H. Sjøvaag's Navyelectre Large Ensemble

With: Jonas H. Sjøvaag (vokal), Mathias Eick (trompet), Ole Jørn Myklebust (trompet), Jørgen Munkeby (klarinett), Morten Barrikmo (bassklarinett), Anders Grønseth (klarinett), Christian Magnusson (klarinett), Erik Johannessen (trombone), Martin Taxt (tuba), Inga Byrkjeland (cello), Yngvil Bjellaanes (cello), Andreas Ulvo (piano), Magne Vestrum (bass), Pål Hausken (trommer) og Audun Borrmann (gitar)

It rarely happens that a record featuring 16 musicians is recorded in two days. Even more rare is the fact that the recording took place in a house in the classy-of-old western suburbia of Oslo, Norway, where the terms ‘drum room’, ‘vocal booth’ and so on was replaced by the more homely ‘kitchen’, ‘living room’ and ‘dining room’. For these two days the wooden walls vibrated with sound, and the lack of studio grade facilities made later corrections thoroughly impossible. 

So, there we were, after just two days of rehearsal. young, eager musicians, most of them already then some of the finest artists in Norway. Daniela Iranschko and Anette Sagen shared the winnings in the Holmenkollen Ski Jump competition, but we were more concerned with the music written by Jonas H. Sjøvaag and arranged by Jan Martin Smørdal. 

The lyrics, also written by Sjøvaag, is  collection of stories coloured by a profound fascination of Keroack, Bukowski and Burroughs, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. It’s dark, but humorous, accessible, but with great depth, and it describes the outcasts and the merciful, the lost souls and the misanthropes. 

As a musician and artist, Sjøvaag is most commonly known as a drummer and composer in the Norwegian contemporary jazz ensemble Eple Trio and the drummer in Karl Seglems Acoustic Quartet. However, it was not always so. When this album was recorded in 2004, Sjøvaag was still studying improvisation and drums at the State Academy of Music in Oslo, and as musical momentum gained, the need for different kinds of output arose. In that environment, at that time, some of Norways finest musicians were hanging out as friends and colleagues, so it was an easy task to include musicians like Jørgen Munkeby (Shining), Mathias Eick (Mathias Eick Quintet), Andreas Ulvo (Eple Trio, Marit Larsen), Pål Hausken (In the Country, Tora Augestad), Erik Johannessen (Jaga Jazzist) and Even Ormestad (Jaga Jazzist, Marit Larsen).

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