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Roundtrip: Two Way Street

Roundtrip: Ole Thomas Kolberg, Klaus Ellerhusen Holm and Ole Morten Vagan

The Norwegian trio Roundtrip-Klaus Ellerhusen Holm, alto and bari saxes; Ole Morten Vagan, bass; Ole Thomas Kolberg, drums-play a personalized strain of post-Ornette Coleman jazz with a great deal of passion and no small amount of imagination. Their original tunes explore a variety of rhythmic feels, from swing and groove to totally free, and the band excels at them all. The music’s almost more folkish than bluesy, but suitably expressive.

Saxophonist Holm is an energetic, adept improviser of ample resources. He’s synthesized Coleman and Eric Dolphy, certainly, but he adds a lot of himself. His chops are clean but not too clean; there’s definitely dirt under his fingernails. If he has a flaw, it’s that his phrasing is a trifle blunt. Subtle inflection is usually the last thing to come to a player. If Holm gets a handle on it, look out. Bassist Vagan has a nimble technique and sets a solid foundation. Drummer Kolberg gets a bit carried away in terms of volume, but he’s an impassioned and creative player. This is an exciting young band, easy to recommend.

Originally Published