Albums

ALBUMS

Live in Oslo

(2021)

Wako

(2020)

Urolige sinn

(2018)

Modes for All Eternity

(2017)

scroll for info

The Good Story

(2015)

LIVE IN OSLO
(øra fonogram 2021)

Wako are releasing their fifth record, a live album that further establishes them as one of Norway's leading jazz groups, and recalls their active touring nature. The album displays the band's unique musical palette, which is augmented by four phenomenal guests. The album also features three songs of pure quartet joy, from Oslo Jazz Festival 2020. This is an album that Øra believes puts Norwegian music in a particularly positive light beyond Norway's borders.


To emulate the grandiose and eclectic character of Wako’s eponymous fourth album, the release concert at National Jazzscene in Oslo - Norway's premier jazz venue - was played with four guest musicians on stage. Tore Brunborg, Kyrre Laastad, Adrian Løseth Waade & Lars Horntveth - some of the finest jazz musicians there are in Norway. On November 6th 2020, the day of the concert, a new lockdown was announced in Oslo, and the concert with Wako and friends was to be the last with an audience in Oslo for almost half a year. Wako's "Live in Oslo" is the story of an evening where musicians played and the audience listened, because they didn’t know when they would have the opportunity again.


With four studio records and hundreds of live performances under their belt, Wako plays with an authority and personality that places them at the forefront of Nordic jazz. Wako is one of the most dynamic and innovative groups on today's jazz scene, and has built a solid fan base and garnered recognition from critics near and far. According to Mark Sullivan (All About Jazz - US), Wako is "a Norwegian jazz collective with a real collective sound", and the previous album "Wako" (Ear phonogram, 2020) was put on the top list of Jazzwise (UK) both in March and April 2020. Wako has taken their ever-evolving musicality and creativity with them around Europe, and done renditions of their music live both as a quartet, with the Oslo String ensemble, and with trumpet virtuoso Arve Henriksen, among others. The scope of the music is always carefully adjusted to the audience, environment and musical material, which means that the concerts are not only superlative, but also unique experiences. In short, Wako is one of the most impressive young live groups today. Individually, the musicians can also be seen in projects such as Norwegian grammy winner Hegge, norwegian grammy nominees Megalodon Collective, Espen Berg trio, Kjetil Mulelid Trio and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra.


Le tapis volant

05:44

Hele verden er en boble

14:34

Piano

01:57

En liten halvtime senere

10:50

Stjerneskipet

04:05

Dagdrømmeren

10:29

Trakterer du musikk?

10:32

Savage Detective

09:10

Snart blir jeg far

04:29


Press:

“This is how jazz is kept alive” - Aftenposten 

- “The stage at Victoria is on fire” - Dagsavsien

- “Cruelty and romance side by side” - JazziNorge

- "One of this years best album" - Romsdals Budstikka

- “Wako's fifth album is, perhaps the best album they have” - Jan Granlie 

- "It's now that I really think that this band is the elite of Norwegian jazz." - JazziNorge

-"A reminder of the magic this quartet is capable of conjuring up" - Stemmegaffel

- “This band is cockin. A band with musicians that really knows each others" - Now’s The Time

- “They’re cruising like a wind” - Bad Alchemy, nr 110 (DE)

- “An impressive 72 minute tour in the rich sonic galaxy of Wako” - Eyal Hareuveni 

- "Wako is a quartet that you would very much like to see play on the stages of the Low Countries much more often, because the development of the musicians is so terribly interesting for the band. And the impact of their music is so great on stage. Free in conception and even more free in execution. Listening to their albums I was already a big fan of the band with this live registration even more." Written in music             

Wako (2021)

Label: Øra Fonogram

Release: 23.04.21

Availabiliy: CD, Digital Streaming

Track 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 7 recorded at Nasjonal Jazzscene by Simen Scharning, November 6th 2020

Track 5, 8 & 9 recorded at Oslo Jazz Festival by Ingar Hunskaar, August 15th 2020

Mix & Master: Karl Klaseie 

Cover design: Bárður Reinert Poulsen

Sleeve photo: Stein Hødnebø



Track 1, 2, 6, 8 & 9 composed by Martin Myhre Olsen

Track 3, 4, 5 & 7 composed by Kjetil André Mulelid

Produced and arranged by Wako


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STREAM HERE

WAKO 
(øra fonogram 2020)

In this, their follow-up to "Urolige sinn", Wako have adopted new creative processes, approaches, and methods, as well as an exceptional roster of guest musicians. "Wako" is an album of diversity, a jazz and improvisational banquet, a cornucopia of compositional exploration, and – above all – very aptly named, as it is resoundingly "Wako".

 

Once again, Martin Myhre Olsen and Kjetil André Mulelid's compositions interweave order and chaos, dissonance and harmony, light and shade, and all manner of musical grit and gusto in a unique fashion. Moments of pensive serenity collapse into ecstatic frenzies. Other moments hint at rock, perhaps even pop music, while others are saturated in colorful abstract expressionism. With such an utter disregard for purism, and a will to venture deep into the sonic unknown, Wako creates a unique musical dialect, if not a completely new language. 

 

The augmentation of the line-up adds textural layers that alter the mood, highlight the drama, and heighten the tension (sometimes almost to breaking point). Featuring strings (not an entirely new occurrence in the Wako canon – see "Modes for All Eternity", their album with Oslo Strings), both solo (Adrian Løseth Waade, violin) and trio (Kaja Constance Rogers, violin; Isa Caroline Holmesland, viola; Kaja Pettersen, cello), where elements of Zappaesque baroque can merge with Sibelian swells or angular pizzicato, or simply launch into gypsy-like combustion. Rob Waring's vibraphone comps and mirrors the zig-zag licks, while Arve Henriksen's trumpet and mercurial sampling contributions highlight Beatles-style shuffling grooves with (semi-)ironic big band stylings á la James Last and Bert Kaempfert. The saxophone contributions from Jonas Kullhammar, Espen Reinertsen, and Sissel Vera Pettersen complement, contrast, and augment Martin Myhre Olsen's reed work, while the additional synth from Reinertsen and the vocals from Pettersen add new colors to the whole sound.


Wako (2020)

Label: Øra Fonogram

Release: 21.02.20

Availabiliy: Vinyl, CD, Digital Streaming

Engineer: Dag Erik Johansen, Karl Klaseie & Øyvind Røsrud

Mix & Master: Karl Klaseie 

Cover photo: Signe Fuglesteg Luksengard

Cover design: Christian Meaas Svendsen


All compositions by Martin Myhre Olsen, except track 3,7,10 & 11 by Kjetil André Mulelid

String arrangements by Martin Myhre Olsen

Produced and arranged by Wako



BUY CD / VINYL
- 6 PAGES DIGIPACK CD EDITION
- GATEFOLD, CLEAR VINYL, limited - 200 copies


STREAM HERE

For Those We Love (feat. Oslo Strings)

04:11

Wako Amok

05:55

Stjerneskipet (feat. Kyrre Laastad)

02:19

Brain Drain (feat. Rob Waring)

01:30

Hele verden er en boble

06:14

Le tapis volant (feat. Espen Reinertsen)

04:13

Trakterer du musikk? (feat. Arve Henriksen)

06:42

Dagdrømmeren (feat. Oslo Strings)

03:35

Grown-up Life (feat. Jonas Kullhammar, Rob Waring &Adrian Løseth Waade)

02:56

Everything Comes To an End (feat. Sissel Vera Pettersen)

03:39

When Staring Into Light, We Think

04:03

Skumringsbeltet (feat. Rob Waring)

06:28

Savage Detective (feat. Oslo Strings & Adrian Løseth Waade)

04:32


Press:

- “a splendid album” - Written in Music (NL) 

“Heaps of bright ideas and fresh-sounding jazz” - Jazzwise (UK)
- Best of March - Mike Flynn, Jazzwise / EuropeJazzNetwork (UK)

- "Arranged musical wrestling" - Lars Mossefinn, Dag og Tid (NO)

- “A definitive statement for Norwegian Jazz” - All About Jazz (US)

- "A deffently must have in your album collection" - Musikkplaneten (SE)

“Thought-over and creative music from a full-grown quartet” - Vital Weekly (NL) 

- “Calling Wako an adventurous jazz band is actually too limited” - Dick Hovenga (NL)

"Wako has in a short time worked its way up to the first division” - Audun Vinger, DN (NO)

-“a musical journey which brings epic goodness in modernist Dancefloor Jazz” - Nitestylez (DE)

"An album that summarizes a significant period of this busy, innovative band" - Eyal Hareuveni, Salt Peanuts (IL)

"Covers plenty of diverse ground, from the rippling, strings-enhanced and chamber-like to abstracted boogie grooves and rocking rumbustious fun" - JazzJournal (UK)

- “Wako's fourth album might be its least cohesive to date, yet here's that rare instance where such a lack is actually a positive thing” - Textura (CA)


- “If you like something diverse and intriguing with a vivacious blend of cross-pollinated jazz seeds that have grown into something fresh, wild and adventurous, this is an album well worth checking out.” - UKVIBE (UK)


//

- “Åpenheten i tilnærmingen har ført Wako til nye steder og tilført musikken en friskhet som smitter. Jeg tror de kan ha funnet seg selv.” - Arild Andersen, Jazznytt feb 2020

-Jeg elsker også «Wako Amok», og selv om de ikke går helt amok, så slår de seg løs så det holder - Dagsavisen

- “Man føler synapsene knatre og hjernevevet spire og gro når man lytter til Wako. Sjekk bare den lyriske «Skumringsbeltet» med vibrafonisten Rob Waring – her er produksjonen helt vill” - Lars Junge, Stemmegaffel (NO) 

- “Åpenheten i tilnærmingen har ført Wako til nye steder og tilført musikken en friskhet som smitter. Jeg tror de kan ha funnet seg selv.” - Arild Andersen, Jazznytt feb 2022



4.5/5 - All About Jazz 

4/5 - UKVIBE

4/5 - Written in Music

8/10 - Stemmegaffel (NO) 

3.5/5 - Jazz Journal (UK)

3/5 - Jazzwise 

March top chart album - Mike Flynn, Jazzwise (EuropeJazzNetwork)

Hot picks from Jazzwise crew Jukebox, April 2020 (UK)


Urolige sinn

øra fonogram (2018)

"Urolige sinn" – the new album from Wako – is equal parts atmosphere and energy. Smoky moods envelop runaway train rhythms, while the contemplative can seem like a mask for a chaos ready to erupt at any second. This is a series of dramaturgical tone poems, triple-distilled concepts, their purity and brevity carrying only the essentialsounds – but you shouldn't take this as meaning "minimalism": here it means intense concentration, perfect focus. There is a build and release of tension, occasional hints of a threatened dissonance in the midst of melody, or glimpses of golden harmony emerging from chattering agitation. There are technicolour highways through chiaroscuro dreamscapes. There is what could easily be the incidental music for an urban hallucination of a heated conversation between Pharoah Sanders and Man Ray, or Erik Satie antagonized by Friedrich Nietzsche. Traces of joy mix with stains of sorrow, the everyday life intertwines with sinuous and wandering reveries. This is realism walking in expressionist shoes along a well-paved path.

 

That path was created by Wako, both as a collective and as individuals. Where similar groups would regard a "jazz composition" as merely a framework for an extended solo (or three), Wako operate as a unified musical consciousness, thinking, dreaming, reacting and planning together. While pianist Kjetil André Mulelid and saxophonist Martin Myhre Olsen each take individual composer credits on several tracks, the group coherence and synergy means that bassist Bárður Reinert Poulsen and drummer Simon Olderskog Albertsen are integral to the final delivery of the music. The Wako philosophy is one of "music first"; "Urolige sinn" is that philosophy made flesh.


Urolige sinn (2018)

Label: Øra Fonogram

Release: 31.08.2018

Availabiliy: Vinyl, CD, Digital Streaming

Engineer: Dag Erik Johansen

Mix & Master: Karl Klaseie

Cover photo: Anders Beer Wilse: “Skavlet føre” 1909

Cover design: Christian Meaas Svendsen


All compositions by Wako, except:

2, 9, 13 by Kjetil André Mulelid

6, 7, 8 by Martin Myhre Olsen



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Jernvilje

01:24

Skavlet føre

04:14

Skumring og det som hører til

02:22

Den endeløse planen

01:46

Du gråter aldri

03:24

Elisabeths vise 

02:59

Revelje

01:51

Snart blir jeg far

01:03

En liten halvtime senere

04:47

Skogens uklare omriss

01:43

Svovelpredikant

01:15

De som viste oss rundt

03:11

Langt, langt der nede

04:15

Press:

- "An entirely open-ended high-risk sort of improvised group playing. It is as if they have abandoned all unnecessary things for lightness of travel. What they need, they will find." - Fritz Balwit, Audiophile Audition (US)

- "What I like about it:   I like how the lovely melodicism of this recording is totally at the mercy of the forces of motion, and I like how Wako shows no limit to their ability to shape it.  I like how the beauty of these pieces resonates with no less strength during passages of heavy dissonance than those times when a melody is sighed out peacefully.  I like the pacing of the varying motions, so that changes present themselves with a certain force, but never to the point of jarring extremes." - Bird is the Worm (US)

- "Wako is a Norwegian jazz collective with a truly collective sound." - All About Jazz (US)

- “Wako has produced something on Urolige Sinn that feels fresh, bold, and exciting. It's the kind of release that when the initial listen's done, you might want to hear again immediately” - Ron Schepper, Textura (CA)

- "Well prepared and inspired spontaneous creativity" -  Terje Mosnes, Jazz i Norge (NO)

- "It is a solid album, full of inspiring and inspiring pieces, made of essential sounds, simple compositions and wide-ranging atmospheres, and they provide new life to the new wave of Nordic jazz music that the band is part of." - Samuele Conficoni, Music Map (IT)

- “Twelve songs in a good half-hour is all this Norwegian quartet needs to get you completely captivated” - Georges Tonla Briquet, JazzHalo (BE)

- "All four musicians operate as a tight, unified musical consciousness that focuses on coherence, synergy and emphatic interplay." - Eyal Hareuveni, Salt Peanuts* (IS)

- "Capable of creating deeply philosophical compositions that seem to crystallize essential human emotions.  This is the band’s third album and I very much hope that their musical journey continues." - Jazz Views (UK)

- “But this relatively short per track runtime does not prevent the quartet from providing quite a bunch of magical moments on "Urolige Sinn". An excellent Jazz-oriented album that every genre lover should consider to add to his collection for a reason. Check!” - Nitestylez.de (DE)

- “These guys have no lack of ideas. It’s really inventive music performed by a very tight quartet. Their sound is

very consistent and together. Superb!” - Vital Weekly (NL)

"It is both a harmonious and a tear-jerking journey through a troubled mind. An instrumental poem about our Nordic soul." - Lira Musikkmagasin (SE)

//

- “Korte utspill av friere improvisasjoner, mens de lengre låtene er mer strukturerte og melodiske, gjerne smektende vakre.” - Geir Rakvaag, Dagsavisen (NO)

- “Besøker en rekke meningsfylte steder i musikken og menneskelivet” - Jazznytt (NO)

- "Vi snakker musikk som faktisk får tankene til å gå i retning Belonging-kvartetten, sjøl om det låter helt annerledes." - Tor Hammerø / Nettavisen (NO) 

- "Det låter gull i hodetelefonene." - stemmegaffel (NO)

Modes for All Eternity
amp (2017)

Modes for All Eternity» is a daring new conceptual album by the nordic jazz quartet Wako in collaboration with string ensemble Oslo Strings. It will take the listener on a journey through ancient times; featuring chilling suspense and drama, introducing a five-part suite and honor truly remarkable persons such as the great Greek lyrists Sappho and Emily Dickinson.


Oslo Strings:

Kaja Constance Rogers - violin

Isa Caroline Holmesland - viola

Kaja Fjellberg Pettersen - cello

Modes for All Eternity (2017)

Label: AMP Music & Records

Release: 20.01.2017

Availabiliy: Vinyl, CD, Digital Streaming

Guest: Erik Kimestad Pedersen, trumpet

Engineer: Marc Casanovas

Mix & Master: Karl Klaseie

Cover art: Pieter Bruegel the Elder

Cover design: Lasse Marhaug


All compositions by Martin Myhre Olsen



BUY CD / LP

King of Kings

06:19

Sappho's Theme

03:46

Carla

04:57

Modes for All Eternity

I. Eternal

04:42

Modes for All Eternity

II. I Died for Beauty

01:55

Modes for All Eternity

III. Africanus

05:59

Modes for All Eternity

IV. Intervallic Nightmares

01:15

Modes for All Eternity

V. Rejoice (feat. Erik Kimestad Pedersen)

05:00

Song for All the Annettes

04:22

Cold Days, Warm Hearts

05:19

Press:

- "It is an engaging work of expressive reach and austere beauty." - Fritz Balwit, Audiophile audition (US)

- "This is a gorgeous album, and the music would melt even the blackest heart" - Bird is The Worm (US)

- "The musicians delivers in a way that makes this album a true joy to listen to" - Jan Granlie / Salt Peanuts (NO)

- "This music draws deeply on lots of ideas and traditions but brings them together in a very personal and distinctive sound" - Mike Collins / London Jazz News (UK)

- "Beautiful, contrastful and controlled themes combined with flowing and dynamic development" - Olav Opsvik, Jazznytt (NO)  

- "A cooperation with buoyancy and originality" - Terje Mosnes / Jazz i Norge (NO)

"The overall impression is organic and extremely lively" - Vinyl-Fan (DE)

- "The music sounds not only naturally, but also intriguingly organically, especially in terms of bold improvisations that give us the idea of an almost musical (King Of Kings)" - Laboratorium Muzycznych Fuzji (PL)

//

- "har på et usedvanlig personlig vis makta å skape musikk og forutsetninger for at alle sju skal kunne møtes på like fot i et landskap som henter hemningsløst fra både et klassisk og et improvisatorisk utgangspunkt." - Tor Hammerø, Tor de Jazz (NO)

- "eit spennande og fargerikt resultat." - Roald Helgheim, Dagsavisen (NO)

The Good Story

øra fonogram (2015)

Fra den første dype akkorden på åpningslåten “Jakob” til det siste buestrøket i “Seven Years”, holdes lytteren fast i den unike klangverden til Wako. Komposisjonene utvikles selvsikkert med sprudlende detaljer, og improvisasjonene flyter på lekent vis. Wako presenterer her 60-tallets jazzmusikk i en ny nordisk drakt. Platen er et friskt pust fra fire unge nordiske musikere med bakgrunn i band som Trondheim Jazzorkester, Espen Berg Trio og The Fjords. Med «The Good Story» introduseres Wako på den norske og internasjonale jazzscenen, med musikk som vil fortsette å vokse og overraske deg ved hver gjennomlytting!

The Good Story (2015)

Label: Øra Fonogram

Release: 09.10.2015

Availabiliy: CD, Digital Streaming

Guest: Kari Eskild Havenstrøm, vocal

Engineer: Jo Ranheim

Mix: Karl Klaseie

Master: Morten Stendahl

Cover art: Samuli Paulaharju

Cover design: Ole Kristian Øye



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Jacob

03:13

Düsseldorf

02:30

October

05:32

Obscure and Relentless

feat. Kari Eskild Havenstrøm

01:47

The Lizard, the Snake and the Panther

05:44

Blazing Madness

00:33

Inequity

feat. Kari Eskild Havenstrøm

04:38

Current Affairs

01:26

Little Sister

04:57

Düsseldorf (take 2)

02:33

Seven Years

05:15

Press:

- “Jeg kjenner meg fri i tid og rom med dette praktfulle albumet- Roald Helgheim, Dagsavisen

- “...noe forteller meg at Wako kommer til å etablere seg i Europatoppen lenge før Rosenborg.” - Tor Hammerø 

- "Sjarmerer med en god dynamikk og en dose blottstilt sårbarhet" - Jazznytt