WE MUST MUSTN’T WE
The Jonas Cambien Trio reveals influences from the pioneers and greats of free music, but there’s much more going on in “We Must Mustn’t We”, beginning with Cambien’s classical-influenced piano style. A Belgian-born living in Oslo, Jonas Cambien divides his career between contemporary music, solo playing and free improvisation with groups like Simiskina and Platform – one aspect of his musical interests feeding the other. The use of extended techniques doesn’t get in the way of his preference for more conventional resources like ostinatos and counterpoint, all of which providing structural functions in both his compositions and for the improvisations of the band.
On the 12 tracks-long album, the music is balancing seamlessly between contemporary ‘avant-garde’ material, slightly weird pop melodies, and occasional free-jazz outbursts. Much of its secret lies in the inventive orchestration, like the use of prepared piano or a home-made microtonal melodica. Reed-player André Roligheten playing tenor and soprano saxophones, as well as bass clarinet and flute, and the extensive use of percussion instruments by Andreas Wildhagen, all add richness to the frequency range and texture. On two tracks, the trio is joined by trumpeter Torstein Lavik Larsen.
Nothing here is like you would expect: instead of using all the implications of a piece in an exploratory way, Cambien is more interested in finding the essence of all situations. We’re not facing some sort of minimalism or reductionism, far from it, but there’s a methodic application of subtractive procedures giving light to the most defined musical elements, whether they are subtle or explosive of nature. This approach paves the way for almost telepathic communication between Roligheten, Wildhagen and Cambien, and allows the music to emerge with affirmation and clarity in both it’s most sophisticated and raw ranges of expression. This is exactly that what makes this music so mysterious and captivating.
All compositions by Jonas Cambien | All arrangements by André Roligheten, Andreas Wildhagen, Jonas Cambien
Recorded by Morten Qvenild at Det Grønne Rommet, Nesodden | Mixed by Morten Qvenild at Det Grønne Rommet, and by Johnny Skalleberg at Amper Tone, Oslo | Mastered by Christian Obermayer at Strype Audio, Oslo
Produced by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos