Reviews that mention Kristoffer Berre Alberts

June 23, 2021


Legal Tender
Clean Feed CF 559 CD



NoBusiness NBLP 140

Orientation of We


Off OCD 046

Preferred by sound explorers ranging from Gerry Mulligan to Ornette Coleman, the limitations of a combo consisting of only brass, reeds, bass and drums are easily overcome due to players’ skills. Each quartet here demonstrates that. But unlike many earlier configurations only one band is a working group.

That’s Norway’s Cortex with trumpeter Thomas Johansson, saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts, bassist Ola Høyer and drummer Gard Nilssen, which has been a unit since 2007 even as members also worked in other groups like the PNL Large Unit, Zanussi 5 and Honest John. Meanwhile the fine work exhibited on Emergence results from the mutual chemistry generated when the four New York-based musicians jammed freely. The group is trumpeter Michael Irwin, who has also worked with Federico Ughi; drummer Joe Hertenstein also part of the Core trio, plus bassist Max Johnson and tenor saxophonist James Brandon Lewis, who lead their own ensembles. NOX on the other hand is the prototypical all-star festival matchup. It links American trumpeter Nate Wooley and British bassist Barry Guy who play with many members of the international Free Music community and two Lithuanian stylists: multi-reedist Liudas Mockūnas who is also internationally prominent, as well as leading local bands, some of which have featured percussionist Arkadijus Gotesmanas. MORE

July 29, 2019


Exits into a Corridor
Hubro HUBROCD2618

Møster, Parker, Abrams & Herndon

Ran Do

Clean Feed CF 457 CD

A Norwegian saxophonist playing in a quartet including an American guitarist plus bass and drums could produce CDs that are mirror images of one another. Instead there’s very little to link Exits into a Corridor and Ran Do except personnel. For a start the five tracks on Exits into a Corridor were all composed by Norwegian bassist Rune Nergaard who is in as many local combos such as Bushman's Revenge, as fellow young Norwegian saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts, known for his work with Cortex. Americans, drummer Jim Black and sometime Wilco guitarist Nels Cline fill out the group and everyone plays in a style that much closer to excessive Rock dynamics than slippery Jazz improvisations. Those other elements are most obvious on Ran Do’s five instance compositions. Here the saxophonist is Norwegian Kjetil Møster, the guitarist Jeff Parker, member both of the AACM and Isotope 217, while the other Chicagoans on board are bassist Joshua Abrams and drummer John Herndon from the Exploding Star Orchestra and Tortoise. MORE

January 11, 2018


Avant Garde Party Music
Clean Feed CF 441 CD

Lina Allemano Four

Sometimes Y

Lumo Records LM 2017-7

With brevity of execution on their side two similarly constituted quartets – one Canadian and one Norwegian – have come up with singular takes on the piano-less group. Both Toronto-based trumpeter Lina Allemano Four and Norway’s Cortex take advantage of the airiness engendered with not being constructed by chordal instruments. However Allemano’s group, filled out by alto saxophonist Brodie West, bassist Andrew Downing and drummer Nick Fraser operates more in the mold of Ornette Coleman’s 1960s groups with Don Cherry. A younger ensemble than the 12-year-old Four, though with more sessions in its discography, Cortex, made up of trumpeter Thomas Johansson, alto and tenor saxophonist Kristoffer Berre Alberts, bassist Ola Hoyer and drummer Gard Nilssen brings a shot of Punk-Rock energy to its eight selections which it barrels though in 37 minutes flat. MORE

May 8, 2017

Festival Report

Artacts ‘17
By Ken Waxman

One of Austria’s ski resorts abutting the Alps, St. Johann in Tirol also attracts music fans during the annual artacts Festival. Attendees March 10-12 could be forgiven for being smug. While warm weather limited optimal ski conditions, music fans’ experience was elevated without using chair lifts. Case in point was the DEK trio, which opened the festival at the comfortable rustic Alte Gerberei performance space. While American tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark is wedded to jazz, Austrian drummer Didi Kern is involved with rock and Graz-based pianist Elisabeth Harnik at home in notated music, the resolution of these contradictions gave the performance its bite. Kern’s paddled beat lent veracity to Vandermark’s bar-walking sax honking, while Harnik’s pastoral patterning added emotion to abstract altissimo clarinet twists. Harnik’s attack could be brawny as well, extending her dynamic range by pounding darker phases from the lowest-pitched keys and plucking, rubbing and twanging inner piano strings. Although teaming with discordant touches, DEK’s sound never lost its sense of swing. MORE

December 6, 2016

Starlite Motel

Awosting Falls
Clean Feed CF 364 CD

Roswell Rudd/Jamie Saft/Trevor Dunn/Balazs Pandi

Strength and Power

RareNoise Records RNR 059

Jamie Saft’s New Zion

Sunshine Seas

RareNoise Records RNR 065

By Ken Waxman

Jamie Saft has built up an impressive resumé as keyboardist, guitarist, composer, producer and engineer, who crosses musical boundaries with the surefootedness of a mountain goat with ADHD. One of these new CDs has him fitting a noise-rock garment over the free-music outfit worn by a jazz legend; a second joins reggae-accented improvisation to a Brazilian percussionist’s beat; the third brews a potion that adds equal parts metal and psychedelic rock to non-idiomatic improvisation. MORE