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Jazz - Released November 2, 2018 | ECM

After many years working with both fellow Norwegian jazzer Jan Gabarek and such stateside talent as Sheila Jordan, Don Cherry, Sam Rivers, and George Russell, bassist Arild Andersen marked the mid-'70s with the first of several ECM sessions to be cut over the following two decades. Featuring regular collaborators like drummer Paal Thowsen, saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, and pianist Lars Jansson, Andersen's solo outings not only reflected the airy sound ECM and Gabarek espoused, but the loose and tasteful experimentation of Miles Davis' '60s work as well. For Sagn, Andersen incorporates Norwegian folk songs into the mix with the help of singer Kristen Braten Berg, percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, and a combo of guitar, keyboards, and saxophone. Alternating between sung parts and instrumental segments, the commissioned piece is divided into three sections and finds the group ranging through buoyant swingers and meditative stretches. While a few of the instrumentals get weighed down in guitarist Frode Alneas' rock-tinged contributions, the album mostly comes off quite nicely. ~ Stephen Cook