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Eivind Opsvik

Bassist, composer and bandleader Eivind Opsvik moved from the European jazz hot spot of Oslo to study for his master’s degree in jazz at the Manhattan School of Music in 1998. So it’s hardly surprising that a Nordic sensibility shapes the sound of his latest album, Overseas (Fresh Sound New Talent). What is surprising, however, is that New York players painted the album’s distinctly European hues. “The players I use are all about listening and playing for the music,” Opsvik says. “These guys could just as easily be playing in Europe as here. They have an open-mindedness that doesn’t really matter where they are from; they’re great musicians.”

It was at the Manhattan School that he made many of the musical connections that led to his band. “There were a lot of great players there, individualistic players, with different sounds, that was my starting point,” Opsvik says. “For example, drummer Jeff Davies I met at school-then it was like a gradual process until I found the right guys. After I graduated I was lucky to be playing gigs, and I found Jacob Sacks the pianist, and through him I met Tony Malaby on tenor, and so on.”

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