JazzTimes is honored to present the premiere of the video for “Nondescript” by Olli Hirvonen. The track will appear on the Finland-born, New York City-based guitarist’s second album as a leader, Displace, due out August 30 on Ropeadope Records.
Besides Hirvonen on guitar, “Nondescript”—penned by the leader and reflecting his grounding in jazz, rock, and experimental music—features pianist Luke Marantz, bassist Marty Kenney, and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell.
In the past year, Hirvonen has garnered plenty of positive attention for his work in saxophonist/composer Brian Krock‘s bands Big Heart Machine and Liddle. He has also worked with Walter Smith III, Adam O’Farrill, and fellow guitar iconoclast Brandon Seabrook. In 2016 he won the Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition, making a favorable impression on that year’s head judge, John McLaughlin.
About this particular track, Hirvonen comments: “I started writing this song from the arpeggiated chords of the beginning, which I stumbled on while just noodling on the guitar. I liked the moodiness and the shape of the chord progression, and decided there wasn’t really a need for any other melody there. I like how it builds with the drums and bass entering with that 16th-note figure, which ends up developing into the rhythmic vamp for the piano to solo at the end. I usually tend to keep the more rocking solo sections to myself, so it was interesting to switch it around to play over a more mellow set of chord changes. The vibe of the beginning has definite Ben Monder influence, and for the off-meter vamp at the end I was trying to channel some kind of Matt Mitchell/Vijay Iyer-type rhythmic ideas.”
Go here to hear “Nondescript” (audio only) on the platform of your choice.