Thomas Strønen & Ayumi Tanaka & Marthe Lea – Bayou (2021)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 41:57 minutes | 715 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Digital Booklet, Front Cover | © ECM
A fresh and open music, delicate and space-conscious, is shaped as drummer Thomas Strønen and Ayumi Tanaka, previously heard in the ensemble Time Is A Blind Guide on Lucus, resurface in a new trio with clarinettist/singer/percussionist Marthe Lea. The group first came together at Oslo’s Royal Academy of Music, where for two years the players would meet each week for exploratory music making. Strønen: “We always played freely- drifting between elements of contemporary classical music, folk music, jazz, whatever we were inspired by. Sometimes the music was very quiet and minimalistic: playing together generated some special experiences.” The spontaneous spirit of the music is reflected in the trio’s debut recording, which was made at the Lugano radio studio and produced by Manfred Eicher. With the exception of the title piece, based on a traditional Norwegian tune, the music on Bayou was collectively created in the moment.
In general, every new adventure launched by Thomas Strønen is powerfully unique. The Norwegian drummer has retained the Japanese pianist Ayumi Tanaka from his strangely-named ensemble Time Is A Blind Guide, and invited the clarinettist, percussionist and singer Marthe Lea to join the trio. This trio, formed at the Royal Academy of Music in Oslo, have been meeting once a week for almost two years. That’s two years of exploration mixing jazz, contemporary, classical and folk music. “Sometimes”, says Strønen, “the music was very quiet and minimalist. Playing together generated special experiences.” The trio then met in August 2018 in a studio in Lugano, with ECM’s Manfred Eicher behind the console, setting down the sparks from their conversations in the wax… and they really were sparks! The sparks created open, delicate and adventurous music, sometimes marked by salutary notes of tension, carried by Strønen’s light drumming and Tanaka’s piano interplay, whilst occasionally haunted by the ghost of Paul Bley… – Marc Zisman
8 Bayou II