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Ecstatic improvisations, idiosyncratic approaches to avant-jazz and a globetrotting cache of captivating regional vernaculars all combine with emphatic zeal on Utos, the dynamic debut from brand new all-Norwegian concern, Sulida.

Featuring Marthe Lea on tenor sax, flute and percussion, Jon Rune Strøm on double-bass and Dag Erik Knedal Andersen on drums and percussion, this remarkable trio draws its inspiration from the genre-razing experiments of the AACM and its pioneering satellites, while simultaneously embracing a shared love and respect for Brazilian and Ethiopian rhythms on tracks such as ‘Topos’ and ‘For Pedro’.

Stunning flute-enriched fourth-world fantasias, convulsive extemporisations, a passionate reading of Charlie Haden’s ‘Song For Che’ and wild percussive workouts (recalling the Art Ensemble of Chicago’s creative use of “little instruments”) are cast here as continuations of an extemporising lineage dating back to old Norwegian fiddlers such as Hilmar Alexandersen, Sulida rooting their bountiful compositions and stunning collective interplay within a native musical heritage alongside more customary free-jazz and avant-garde strands.

Such a bristling convergence of singular styles and influences is wonderfully mirrored in the album’s allegoric title: Utos refers to the point of a river’s confluence as it floats out to sea, as Sulida’s singular currents flow out into the world; reviving, fortifying, energising, stimulating.

All music by Lea/Strøm/Knedal Andersen, except «Furore» by M. Lea (Tono), «Eldars pols» by J.R Strøm (Tono) and «Song for Che» by C. Haden (ASCAP)

Recorded in Athletic Sound Studio, Halden, Norway on September 1st and 2nd 2023 by Dag Erik Johansen | Mixed and mastered by Mats Äleklint
Produced by Lea/Strøm/Knedal Andersen | Executive production by Pedro Costa/Trem Azul | Painting by Marthe Lea. Photo by Tine Hvidsten | Design by Travassos

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