Scorch Trio is one of the most instrumentally awesome power trios around. With their blend of rock sonics and energy and creative jazz improvisation they make music that transcends the core dynamism of a trio, be it of the rock kind or the jazz kind.
Their latest release Brolt! is hailed as a re-exploration of the guitar led power trio.
It all started back in 1998, when Norwegian bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Finnish guitarist Raoul Björkenheim heard each other perform at Finland’s Jyvaskyla Summer Jazz Festival. They both immediately realised that a collaboration would yield a very special result, and Flaten new just who would be the perfect drummer for the new high-energy unit they were devising: Paal Nilssen-Love is easily the most celebrated Norwegian jazz drummer today, and a big international name too. His playing, which is both intensely powerful, subtle and utterly creative, gives the role of drummer a whole new meaning.
In the trio format of Scorch each instrument is allowed this kind of energized creative freedom, and the magic of the band is how this takes the essentially guitar-led music in completely new directions. Nilssen-Love’s drumming takes the guitar riffs to places they dream to go and Håker Flaten’s bass pushes and breaks, builds and contradicts in ways that make this music unpredictable and demanding, yet tasteful and full of feeling.
The special chemistry they immediately found resulted in a string of concerts and radio recordings back in 2000. This again led to the band’s eponymous album debut for Norwegian label Rune Grammofon in 2002. The record was voted one of the ten best jazz albums of the year by The Wire magazine. The follow up, 2004’s Luggumt, received acclaim in the same vein, and scorch trio was a new exuberant name of the improv jazz scene.
Brolt! is scorch trio’s third release, and it blazes new trails in the musical landscape. Most of all it refers back to the great heritage of instrumental and experimental rock. But it infuses the familiar soundscapes with a raw improvised intensity taken from jazz, and steers well clear of any monumentality by insisting on stripped down purity. It is only guitar, bass and drums, but most of all it is Raoul Björkenheims guitar that leads the way. His masterful playing, in the landscape somewhere between John McLaughlin and Jimi Hendrix, is the leading voice in what Norwegian critics call an aggressive, instinctive and living dialogue between the instruments.
Brolt! is described as creative raw and frothy, with a variety of expressions welded together; tastefully and in highly energized manner. It is a new experience of your old rock heroes, now in the robes of improvised jazz.
Brolt! is out now on Rune Grammofon.
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, Jazz bassist
Paal Nilssen-Love, Jazz drummer and Percussionist