Friday, June 24, 7:30 pm
In the Country (Roger Arntzen, Pål Hausken, and Morten Qvenild)

Tula’s Restaurant and Jazz Club
2214 2nd Avenue (Belltown), Seattle

For Reservations call 206-443-4221
Cover Charge: $14 general; $12 Earshot members;
$7 Students w/ ID

It has been said that Norway produces exceptional jazz artists, and the trio In the Country is further proof of this assertion. Featuring pianist Morten Qvenild (formerly of Jaga Jazzist), bass player Roger Arntzen, and drummer Pål Hausken, the group’s third album, Whiteout, released in 2009, is a soaring, progressive work, reminiscent of The Bad Plus. This month, the band releases a live album. They are quick to point out: “We are not just making a CD from one of our concerts, we thought we just as well would make a full-length concert video, slash artfilm, slash film noir out of the whole project.”

Qvenild is probably best known (in his native Norway, at least) for being “the orchestra” in Susanna and the Magical Orchestra. He has also been a member of both Shining and Jaga Jazzist. Qvenild formed In the Country with Arntzen and Hausken at the Norwegian Academy of Music in Oslo in 2003. Since then, they have been selected best young jazz artists in Norway, played concerts throughout Europe and the United States, and released three albums to date on the prestigious Rune Grammofon label to much critical acclaim. DownBeat called their debut album “one of the finest and most arresting albums to come out of Europe” that year, and All About Jazz selected Whiteout for their “Best of 2009” list.

In a live review of the group’s 2010 performance at Scandanavia House in Manhattan, Saby Reyes-Kulkarni of the New York Press wrote: “In person the trio does a great job of absorbing the audience into its dreamy bubble of sound. When all three members start chanting out of no where, for example, the show veers into uplifting, other-worldly realms, and the band’s discreet touch and soft pace might have you too busy enjoying the show to notice how progressive Qvenild’s writing truly is … In the Country provides yet another compelling glimpse into what appears to be a vital jazz scene brewing in that part of the world. If you harbor any doubts about the ability of Danes, Swedes, Fins, or Norwegians to capture jazz with the right feel or inventiveness, here’s the last chance you’re going to get for a while to prove yourself wrong.”

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