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ARTIST
TITLE
Piano
FORMAT
LP

LABEL
CATALOG #
RLP 3220LP RLP 3220LP
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
4/23/2021

LP version. Still only 29 years old when composing and recording this album, Kjetil Mulelid is one of the brightest talents in Norwegian jazz, and these days that really says something. In Kjetil's childhood home they had a subscription for a Classical Masterpieces CD collection. One that especially caught his attention, and would be played repeatedly, included the most melodic piano music of Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy. At the same time his elder brother introduced him to "old" rock like Led Zeppelin and Queen, winning him over and getting him interested in the guitar rather than the piano. When he later applied to music education in high school with electric guitar as his main instrument, the teachers asked if he played other instruments. He duly played a song on the piano, and heard nothing more of it. Months later, thinking he was enrolled as a guitarist, he was (to his horror) introduced to the class as a pianist. A classically trained piano teacher played him some gospel and boogie woogie and introduced him to some simple pentatonic hooks on a C major blues. He hadn't really touched the piano in a very long time, but the same night he started experimenting and improvising around what she had shown him, and from that moment he was all into the piano and would dig further into improvisation and jazz. Kjetil was skeptical when Rune Grammofon first suggested a solo piano record back in early 2018, but the idea slowly grew on him and when the pandemic exploded and other plans had to be scrapped, he suddenly had the time as well as the means to do it. So, the bulk of the album was written in a hectic lockdown period and recorded on a steaming hot June day in the legendary Athletic Sound studio on their unique and characteristic Bösendorfer grand piano from 1919. Of the piano Kjetil says the sound is one of a kind, very clear and not typically "perfect" like most new ones. Very well recorded and mixed, it gives you the impression that you are sitting next to him and not in a concert hall. In turn joyful, playful and elegant, the album fully shows Kjetil's harmonic and melodic mastery and the influence from those early introductions to the classical masters. Whether staying with the tune or taking off on improvised flights, there is an ease and assurance in his playing that betrays his young age.