To Swedish/Norwegian quartet Fattigfolket, parks have constituted veritable places of refuge on their various tours over the past few years. In the studio, these moments of peace would occasionally return as inspiring mental images, sparking new compositions and improvisations. Collecting eleven of these blissful moments, Fattigfolket's first internationally distributed full length has turned out a subtle concept work revolving around a variety of parks. Thanks to a flexible interaction between the instrumentalists, the album has turned out anything but a typically melancholic collection of Jazz-ballads: These park-portraits may actually reveal details invisible to the eyes and ears of the casual visitor.
Taking listeners to a park in their head...
Revolving around a variety of parks mostly based in Germany, the music of the group, whose name translates to "the poor people" in reference to Norway's explosive growth in wealth over the past century, doesn't just trivially port the visual impressions to the realm of sounds, but attempts a translation of potentially complex emotions into immediate compositions. As such, they are intriguingly reveal details invisible to the eyes and ears of the casual visitor: Berlin's Pfaueninsel, a somewhat secretive island in the heart of Germany's capital, sounds surprisingly vivid and uplifting, while Nuremberg's Marienberg Park, which has turned into a social meeting point over the past years, displays its more intimate side on this occasion.
These contrasts provide an ideal framework for the group to work with mood, melody and colour. Writing credits are distributed between saxophonist and clarinetist Hallvard Godal as well as bassist Putte Johander and stylistically, the album stretches from slow seductive grooves to the brittle, sombre acoustics of „Innocentia Park". All pieces, meanwhile, benefit from the flexible interaction between Godal and hornsman Hunnar Halle. Rather than taking on conventional solo roles, both are constantly re-thinking their position, acting as harmonic support for the other in one moment only to engage in challenging duo-exchanges the next. Thanks to this perpetual flux "Park" sounds anything like a typically melancholic collection of Jazz-ballads. It is not so much musical impressionism, but inner silence Fattigfolket are after - and in doing so, they are taking listeners to their own little park in their mind.
Recorded at Epidemin Studio, Gothenburg by Tobias Sjögren, and Dynalyd Studio, Oslo by Karl Strømme.
Gunnar Halle, trumpet
Hallvard Godal, sax / clarinet
Putte Johander, bass
Ole Morten Sommer, drums
Mixed and mastered by Jan Erik Kongshaug at Rainbow Studios, Oslo