The Core, Blue Sky

Peter Margasak

By Peter Margasak

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
A Norwegian quartet gives up the iciness and goes for broke.

This Norwegian quartet taps into a John Coltrane vibe on Blue Sky, from the white-hot sheets of sound delivered by saxophonist Kjetil Møster to the relentless McCoy Tyner-style vamping of pianist Erlend Slettevoll. The music is driven by rock's energy, and even though drummer Espen Aalberg masterfully spreads his beats all over the kit, there's a go-for-broken sensibility at work instead of the usual iciness of Norwegian jazz. The flexible guitarist Nils Olav Johansen guests on the album, adding typically lyric solos and thickening the harmonic element. Despite the Core's relentless energy, the band isn't purely about ecstatic screaming. In particular, Møster can be a highly melodic soloist, even when he's reached a boiling point, and the quartet's ability to stretch a piece beyond seventeen minutes without reaching stasis is impressive for such a young outfit.