Reviews that mention Håvard Wiik

June 2, 2019


Pet Variations
Odin Records CD 9568

Fredrik Nordstöm


Clean Feed CF 496CD

Pushing aside the clichés which describe so-called Nordic Jazz as cold and torpid, these Scandinavian units prove that some shibboleths are as legit as Donald Trump’s views on those nations’ health care. The long-established Atomic quintet and saxophonist Fredrik Nordstöm’s ad-hoc double quartet create contemporary mainstream sounds with the same warmth and grace that could come from any band situated on any point of the compass. MORE

June 11, 2016

Waldemar 4

Waldemar 4
Gigafon Giga 016

Trondheim Jazz Orchestra/Christian Wallunrød

Untitled Arpeggios and Pulses

Hubro CD 2566

One of the few Norwegian improvisers known outside his country through his membership in Dans les Arbres and other groups, keyboardist/composer Christian Wallumrød is also part of a minority of Scandinavian players not affiliated with any particular local coterie. Although often linked to the so-called frigid northern sound, a disc like Untitled Arpeggios and Pulses prove that like a dour accountant who is a flamboyant roué after hours, Wallumrød is conversant with divergent styles. Slightly younger, Oslo-based pianist Håvard Wiik is making his presence better known with membership in Atomic and projects with Ken Vandermark among others. MORE

March 3, 2015

Der Lang Schatten

Der Lang Schatten
Lost Opportunities 001

The International Nothing

The Dark Side of Success

Ftarri Records 218

Personification of duality, Dusseldorf-born clarinetist Michael Thieke has since the millennium been involved in two broad musical currents as he similarly divide his time between Berlin and Rome. Often in the forefront of abstract explorations of reed timbres with the likes of ppooll manipulator Christof Kurzmann and others, Thieke also spends part of his time in less atonal pursuits, such as playing saxes in the Charles Mingus-saluting Dok Wallach band. MORE

December 21, 2014

Tim Daisy Trio

A Fine Day in Berlin
Relay Recordings 006

John Hébert Trio


Clean Feed CF 290 CD

Compositional focus or pure improv, emblematic Jazz piano trios with bass and drums can be envisioned in accordance with the tendencies of the participants. These sessions, recorded about one month apart in different European countries, instructively outline these differences. Interestingly enough as well, although the piano is the main melody instrument on both, neither session is lead by a pianist. The second outing for a group consisting of French pianist Benoît Delbecq plus New Yorkers, drummer Gerald Cleaver and bassist John Hébert, Floodstage mostly highlight the compositions of the New Orleans-born bassist. A true international configuration, A Fine Day in Berlin’s four extended track resulted from a day of collaboration between American drummer Tim Daisy, Norwegian pianist Håvard Wiik and Australian bassist Clayton Thomas. MORE

November 3, 2013

François Houle/Håvard Wiik

Songlines SGL 1601-2

Roscoe Mitchell Quartet

Live at A Space 1975

Sackville-Demark SK 2080

Evan Tighe


ETC 0001

Anthony Braxton

Echo Echo Mirror House

Victo cd 125

Something In The Air: Recorded in Canada, Appreciated World-Wide

By Ken Waxman

Without question one of jazz’s most representative records is of a 1954 concert with Bop masters Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Parker, Bud Powell, Charles Mingus and Max Roach in their only performance together. That the session was recorded in Toronto’s Massey Hall makes it distinctive as well as replaceable. But Jazz at Massey Hall isn’t the only instance of jazz history being made north of the border. Precisely because of gig opportunities for committed international improvisers discs recorded at Canadian gigs or festivals are an important part of the music’s fabric. MORE

July 18, 2010


Theater Tilters Vol. 1
Jazzland Recordings 273339-7

The Godforgottens

Never Forgotten, Always Remembered

Clean Feed CF 164 CD

Swedish trumpeter Magnus Broo and Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love are the soldering points of both these CDs. However, not only is each disc significant in its own way, but the thought process involved in creation is as different as the other musicians involved.

Energetic Young Lions with class, the five members of Atomic have put together a CD of hard-hitting originals whose ball-in-socket performance speaks to the group’s constant touring over the past decade. Two other Atomics are Norwegian – pianist Håvard Wiik and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – and one, multi-reedist Fredrik Ljungkvist – is Swedish. Leaders in other circumstances – as are Nilssen-Love and Broo – collectively the players have worked in different groups in Europe and North America, with fellow Scandinavians, Americans, such as multi-reedist Ken Vandermark and pianist Marilyn Crispell plus Germans, including saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and trumpeter Axel Dörner. MORE

November 9, 2008

Atomic School Days

Okka Disk OD 12073

Ab Baars Trio & Ken Vandermark

Goofy June Bug

Wig 15

Without trying to make him sound celestial and selfless, Ken Vandermark is one of those rare musicians who is as comfortable in an ensemble as fronting one. Despite recording so often as leader, the Chicago-based multi-reedist is just as apt to show up on disc as an addition to an existing band or as part of a generically titled ensemble. That was happens on these two CDs.

Over the years, collaborations with Europeans have also proven to be particularly fruitful for the saxophonist and clarinetist’s musical growth. This is confirmed on Goofy June Bug and Distill with each offering a divergent – and equally notable – take on improvised and composed music. MORE

August 23, 2004


ATOMIC/SCHOOL DAYS Nuclear Assembly Hall
Okkadisk OD 12049

More of an internationalist than most American musicians, Chicago-based reedist Ken Vandermark has made a point of forming concordances with European musicians. Not only is he one of the key constituents of saxist Peter Brötzmann’s Chicago Tentet, but he often works in half-European/half American bands like the AALY trio, the Territory Band and the group featured here.

As its name makes clear, the octet combines the School Days band -- Vandermark, trombonist Jeb Bishop, vibist Kjell Nordeson, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love -- with trumpeter Magnus Broo, reedist Fredrik Ljungkvist and pianist Håvard Wiik who with Håker Flaten and Nilssen-Love make up the Scandinavian quintet Atomic. The results spread over two CD sides are dazzlingly spectacular. MORE

April 26, 2004


Wobbly Rail 013

Fly Away Little Bird
Sunnyside/Owl SSC 3504

Named for the LP that presented the fullest realization of clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre’s chamber-avant garde in 1962, the band Free Fall shows how the structured freedom of the trio can be adapted to the 21st Century.

Yet FURNACE succeeds on its own terms because the musicians involved -- American reedist Ken Vandermark and Norwegians, pianist Håvard Wiik and bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten -- haven’t gone the neo-con route of recreation. Instead nine new compositions have been recorded, with the performance of the three as influenced by the subsequent 40 years plus of improv experimentation as the original Giuffre trio’s sound. MORE

June 22, 2002


Space Available
Jazzland 014 724-2

Feet Music
Jazzland 016 558-2

Working musicians participate in many situations and our view of their talents is often shaped by the particular role in which we hear them.

Take Norwegian drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, for instance. In North America, if he’s known at all, it’s for his work with countryman altoist Frode Gjerstad or as part of various bands led by Chicago’s Ken Vandermark, two roles that place him very firmly in the avant-garde. MORE