Sten Sandell / Paal Nilssen-Love


by John Garratt

14 October 2014

cover art

Sten Sandell / Paal Nilssen-Love


(Rune Grammofon)
US: 22 Jul 2014
UK: 28 Jul 2014

Sten Sandell is not one of those pianists who just sits and plays with his fingers. No, he stands up, sticks his hands under the lid and scrapes the strings while leaning objects against them. The one and only time I saw him, he slammed the piano lid a few times just for some extra dramatic percussion. Paal Nilssen-Love approaches his drum set in a similar way. Watching him play is like watching a kid entertaining themselves in a junkyard (just check out the Ken Vandermark documentary Musician). And when you put these two musicians together, the air is electrified. Jacana‘s press release identifies parts of the music as “Asian court music”. As little as I know about that genre, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt. Jacana has only three tracks spanning 44 minutes, and the title track takes up just four of those minutes. In other words, they’ll get to the end of a track when they get there. Resolution is not a priority, only the challenges presented to both musician and listener. Now having said that, why do these 44 minutes always go by so quickly for me?



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