Cologne Jazzweek: Gard Nilssen Acoustic Unity
If you really want to experience the mastery of Norwegian drummer Gard Nilssen, you have to experience him as a sideman, for example in the quartet of Polish alto saxophonist Maciej Obara. There, together with his compatriot Ole Morten Vågan on bass, he not only sketches the rhythmic course of this band, but together the two also send one wave of energy after another across the two Poles. With his own Unitiy Trio, founded eight years ago with the Swede Petter Eldh (bass) and his compatriot André Rolighten (saxophone), Nilssen, born in Skien in southern Norway in 1983, continues this principle. He pays even more attention to communicating with each other as a band on eye level than perhaps usual, in order to be able to experiment with the musical material as in an experimental laboratory. As modern and show-like as the sound setting of his Unity Trio may be at first glance, the future-oriented nature of this band only becomes apparent when one narrows the focus; then one sees how the three musicians ad hoc, for example, view and process the rhythmic phenomenon of "swing" from their specifically European perspective. The fact that there is no chord instrument in this trio allows the three to take the harmonic space to its limits - and beyond.