Soft Moon Shine
Trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaerr is a key player on the Norwegian Nu Jazz scene. In 1997 he broke out with a solo effort, Khmer, which incorporated elements of electronica, and 2010’s Hamada presents an appealing set of ambient jazz infused with electronic elements. The album opens with “Exhumation,” a breathy solo trumpet rendering of a lovely melody. On “Sabkah” Molvaerr is joined by the album’s guitarist, Eivind Aarset, who adds dreamy, reverb-drenched tones, creating a sound that recalls composer Angelo Badalamenti’s work with film director David Lynch. Bassist Audun Erlien and drummer Audun Klieve appear on “Friction” and “Cruel Attitude,” a pair of cuts that stand out in this low-key context. The former piece sounds like a fusion of Jon Hassell Fourth World-stylings and agitated, Miles Davis funk-rock, while the latter features scrunchy metal guitar and power drumming. Jan Bang adds live sampling and field recordings on a number of cuts, including the closer, “Anticline,” an exquisite collage of sonic wisps and other subtleties.