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Just For The Records JFR730

Take a young Norwegian music student who imagines that he has a career ahead of him as a jazz pianist, let him drop into a traditional music festival in Ireland, and see what happens. In Anders’ case, it resulted in his becoming enamoured with Irish music, buying an accordion and immersing himself in the genre, the results of which are here on his first CD. Playing both accordion and piano, Anders is accompanied by Matthew Berrill, clarinet and bass clarinet; Tommy Hayes, percussion; Esbjörn Hazelius, fiddle and cittern; Caoimhín Ó Fearghail, guitar and bouzouki and Jack Talty, piano.

The resulting sound is exceptionally smooth and steady, and the instrumentation gives plenty of scope for interesting variations, which reveal that the jazz training is still there, but not at the expense of the traditional feel to the overall album. Anders’ playing is as nimble-fingered as anyone could want, and he brings a rich bass tone to the music, which is largely Irish traditional or in traditional style, such as Phil Cunningham’s Wing Commander Donald McKenzie’s and a delightful pair of Anders’ own compositions, the polska, Vråka, and Liam & Diana’s Waltz.

There’s a consistent feel to all the tracks, plenty of drive and verve when needed and sensitivity in the slower numbers and good variety of types of sets. The production is of a high standard as well, allowing all the musicians to be clearly heard. All in all, an admirable debut album. Godt gjort, Anders!

Gordon Potter

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This album was reviewed in Issue 121 of The Living Tradition magazine.