With the same context as Norwegian folk songs, hymns and traditional music, Trio Askeladd has given a great album and a great example of how a trio can work. With a piano and two brass instruments, Askeladd have delved not only into the traditional works but have expanded to the African rhythms of Dollar Brand with their versions of "Whoza Mtwana" and "African Marketplace" and "The Wedding" from his 1979 album African Marketplace.
What really stands out here is that Geir Anfinsen on trombone and Odd Inge Gjelsnes on trumpet never seem to cross or drown out the other. Their sound is clean and fresh. Niklas Bjarnehall on piano stays with the jazz idiom and allows the other two to expand. The original composition titled "Akeladd" which begins the album is a great piano piece for Bjarnehall. Trio Askeladd are labeled a jazz trio but one might not use that, they have the light and shade of a classical trio. Their compositions are strong and well thought out, like a classic sonata would be. They dip into an old guitar folk song for "Icicles" by Anne Grethe Preus which in a way could be a nod to their music roots without breaking too far way and making it modern.
Trio Askeladd, the name askeladd taken from a character that appears in Norwegian fairytales, who is the youngest of three bothers and his wit and intelligence manages to outsmart his other two brothers, this Askeladd has managed to outsmart and bring intelligence on record.