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Still Distant Still is the significant debut album from this exciting new trio formed by the Norwegian saxophonist Torben Snekkestad. Consisting of some of the most promising musicians from the contemporary Nordic music scene, The Living Room converges various sounds and styles of play into a sonically vibrant field: A common ground shared by their curiosity to explore and expand the disciplines of both conventional and unconventional instrumental approaches.
Already headlined on a series of remarkable recordings and performances with artists such as Christian Fennesz, Barry Guy, Andrew Cyrille, John Taylor and Koichi Makigami, The Living Room members have each marked their original presence and place on the international music scene. As a collective they form an interlocking unit on this recording done in the legendary Rainbow Studios in Oslo.
Moving effortlessly within compositional frameworks and leaping off into open improvs, the three like-minded musicians unfold a unique sonic space, creatively, enlivening the living room.
Over the years Torben Snekkestad has explored vast areas of music in a conscious and open-minded way. Ranging from classical playing with the Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet and as a featured soloist with symphony orchestras and sinfoniettas to alternative jazz and improv with London Improvisers Orchestra, the ECM featured Trygve Seim Ensemble and the Danish free jazz group Spring, he has performed with artists like Barry Guy, Andrea Parkins, Koichi Makigami, Evan Parker, Jon Balke and Cikada String Quartet.
"Conic Folded is a fully formed collection of saxophone and improvisational mastery" - Allaboutjazz (US) on Torben Snekkestad`s solo album "Conic Folded" (ILK 153CD)
Thomas Strønen is one of Norway´s most prolific drummers, known from his involvement with Food (with Iain Ballamy), Humcrush (with Ståle Storløkken), Parish (with Bobo Stenso), Pohlitz (solo), Maria Kannegaard Trio and other projects where he often takes on the role of composing, arranging and sometimes producing. Thomas Strønen is a featured recording artist for both ECM and Rune Gramofon.
“Immaculately produced, with each percussive hit and textural fleck seeming to exist in a sonic environment all its own, the album has a sensuality and spaciousness that is utterly irresistible” - The Wire (UK) on Thomas Strønen's “Pohlitz” CD
Since Søren Kjærgaard won the Nordic Young Jazz competition in 2000 and Danish Radio Jazz Prize in 2004, he has grown to be one the leading voices of the vibrant Danish jazz scene, performing internationally with a.o. Fred Frith, Peter Brötzman, Herb Robertson, Tim Berne, Michael Blake and Jim Black. He has released eight albums as a leader on ILK including three albums with his critically acclaimed trio featuring bassist Ben Street and iconic drummer Andrew Cyrille.
“Kjærgaard is a rising talent worthy of inevitable acclaim. Those looking for a new voice on the keys would be advised to delve further into his ever growing discography” - Cadence Magazine
`The meeting of three extremely talented and respected musicians in their own right, The Living Room is a breathtaking formation with a particularly developed taste for complex avant-gardist jazz.....All three members of The Living Room can boast of very impressive and eclectic work, but this project is undoubtedly at the more exploratory end of their respective scope. Complex, abstract and challenging Still Distant Still remains surprisingly evocative and accessible, a strong testament to the combined level of talent and musicianship collected here`4.7/5 ( The Living Room: “Still Distant Still” )
- The Milk Factory (UK)
`Un trio di grandi personalità, quindi, che fa della ricerca e dell'anticonvenzionalità un punto di forza della propria estetica musicale. Non poteva che uscirne un album intellettualmente stimolante, concettualmente rigoroso, formalmente aperto ad assorbire e rielaborare le diverse fonti d'ispirazione. Vi è un profondo rispetto del silenzio in Still Distant Still, silenzio che viene circuito delicatamente con impercettibili vibrazioni, scosso violentemente con tumultuose improvvisazioni, plasmato energicamente per dar forma a sculture sonore sorprendenti.` ( The Living Room: “Still Distant Still” )
- Vincenzo Roggero/All About Jazz Italy (IT)
`In an excellent set that, in some ways, struck a loose parallel with the Lateef gig, the musicians essentially played sound rather than composition, or rather they shaped composition by extreme responsiveness to the slightest flash of timbre or melodicfragment each other produced. With both Stronen and Kjaergaard treating their sounds withelectronics and Snekkstad deploying a lump of circular metaland a bow, the music had astrange, constant hiss, a kind of afterglow that created a vividatmosphere, one that was as seductive and hypnotic as it was charged and eerie.`
( The Living Rooms concert at Copenhagen Jazzfestival concert 2010)
- Kevin Le Gendre/ Jazzwise magachine (UK)
`Torben Snekkestad, Søren Kjærgaard and Thomas Strønen are certainly exceptionally inspired creative musicians who have not only developed artisanal finesse far and understand their instruments and their capabilities over the original addition to design the more so immensely powerful and sensitive structures, the lyric from deep Silence in rapid-fiery radicalism can erupt loudly without spoiling (dis) harmony or to hold over ambitious riot……….. "Still Distant Still" is an absolute milestone, an event for free spirits and those who want to be there. ` ( The Living Room: “Still Distant Still” )
- Volkmar Mantei - Ragazzi Music (DE)
`Precious, spacious, expressive and minimal. All the best words to describe this latest experimental trio from Norway featuring Torben Snekkestad, Thomas Stronen and Soren Kjaergaard as The Living Room. Their debut, Still Distant Still, was built out of a number of live performances and in the studio that energy is just as intense and beautiful. Like its title, the album is filled with space that holds you in place but displays a freedom and unique curiosity of performance that leaves you wondering what note will be played next. "Tremelo Hiving" quietly moves along with long breathy squeals by Snekkestad and crackling improvised tones by both Kjaergaard and Stronen. On "Still Distant Still," the trio execute a fine pattern of improvised notes led by Snekkestad and rolling divergent notes by Kjaergaard. Snekkestad stretches the air in the middle of the piece while Kjaergaard and Stronen add a layer of haunting effects over the top of notes. "Rainbow Stomp" is the dark, loud polar opposite to "Still Distant Still." It's builds viciously from the start, an intense discordant exchange between all members sets the path for this number. The space is consumed by tweaks, squeals, crackles, muted manipulations and pulses that all form a beautiful cacophony that carries out to it's ending. Still Distant Still is a powerful debut from three well known and prolific improvisers that demands you seeking it out. Highly Recommended.` ( The Living Room: “Still Distant Still” )
- Stephan Moore, Dowtown Music Gallery (US)
`Ce disque a une gueule d’atmosphère. Atmosphère du grand Nord, cotonneuse, brumeuse. Atmosphère de beauté millimétrée. Atmosphère de lents envols. En général, presque toujours ennuyeuse. Sauf ici. Parce qu’ici la résonnance n’est pas effet mais nécessité ; parce que le grave soyeux du saxophone de Torben Snekkestad cache une rudesse très vite dévoilée ; parce que les rebonds sur tambours de Thomas Stronen militent pour la précision et la profusion ; parce que le piano de Soren Kjaergaard est affût et spectre et, parfois, les deux simultanément. Et quand l’atmosphère prend congé, que la violence s’installe et qu’elle creuse son impitoyable sillon, le trio trouve alléchant cet enfer aux profondes crevasses. Il gèle en enfer comme aurait pu le dire un Mocky farceur ( The Living Room: “Still Distant Still” )
- Luc Bouquet - Le son du grisli