Jonas Cambien Trio

August 15, 2022

Nature hath Painted the Body
Clean Feed CF 567 CD

An unpretentious but adventurous disc, Oslo-based Jonas Cambien has composed 11 themes that move along briskly, but never compromise timbral probing with capriciousness. He’s a Belgian-born keyboardist who also dabbles in Rock and Arab music and is aided here by two top-flight Norwegian players: reedist Andre Roligheten, part of the Friends & Neighbords band and drummer Andreas Wildhagen, who has played in Paal Nilssen-Love’s Large Unit among many others.

The largest output on this CD is when Cambien augments his piano tones by also playing soprano saxophone or organ, but these are bagatelles to his main  direction. Modulating textures from each musician. his often playful themes advance with distinctive piano sweeps and spills as Roligheten augment or provide variants to the expositions – often in unison with Cambien – as Wildhagen hardens the expression with repeated patterns and smacks. Free and flowing, with detours into keyboard clinks, percussion paradiddles and irregular vibrations from the reed player, most tunes repeat the head at some point as they evolve.

The pieces can reach the height of turbulence as they do on “Herrieschoppers” . Here the pianist and drummer contribute buzzes and squeaks as the saxophonist simultaneously explores the theme and fragments it with snarling flattement. Or as on the concluding “Helium” rooster crowing reed slurs and organ stops meld as background to a comprehensive, connected piano narrative. “Freeze” the longest track, shows what the trio can do at a slower tempo. Beginning with bass clarinet smears and soundboard echoes, midway through it explodes into a harsh exposition with pressurized chording from the pianist, drum ruffs and cymbal clashes and thick reed blasts until it moves into quiet vibrations that reaffirm the melody as they fade.

On the evidence here it appears that this trio deserves more chances to show how many ways it can musically paint the body,

–Ken Waxman

Track Listing: 1. Oersoep 2. 1 000 000 Happy Locusts 3. Herrieschoppers 4. Hypnos* 5.  Mantis 6. The Origins Of Tool Use^ 7. Bushfire 8. Freeze 9.  Yoyo Helmut 10.  Tongues 11.  Helium^

Personnel: Andre Roligheten (soprano, tenor saxophones, bass clarinet); Jonas Cambien (piano, organ^, soprano saxophone*) and Andreas Wildhagen (drums)