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Arve Henriksen: Through European Eyes

Arve Henriksen

The sun had just gone down when Arve Henriksen ducked into a coffee shop. “It’s freezing cold in Oslo now,” the Norwegian trumpeter said, laughing. “It’s quite nice, actually, the winter here.” Accompanying him on this mid-February evening was his girlfriend, Trio Mediaeval’s Anna Maria Friman, who makes several appearances on Cartography, Henriksen’s latest full-length and his first as a leader for the ECM label. One of the tracks on which the Grammy-nominated chanteuse can be heard is “Recording Angel,” a moody, post-Miles number that includes a sample of a Trio Mediaeval soundcheck. The performance, recorded by Cartography’s co-producer Jan Bang, is used as the foundation for one of Henriksen’s sparse improvisations.

“This shows the ongoing process while we were working on this record,” Henriksen said of Bang’s tendency to create songs out of a variety of audio sources. “Jan did it and brought it into the session when we were in the studio.” Bang, who co-produced Henriksen’s 2004 release Chiaroscuro and worked on trumpeter Jon Hassell’s new album Last night the moon came dropping its clothes in the street, also provided the spark that got the record off the ground. “The process started about two-and-a-half, three years ago, [with] Jan Bang bringing in some sketches,” Henriksen said. “We had been working together for a long time and he would just occasionally bring in some new ideas.”

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