The Scene West Victoria venue is packed full for the 2005 Oslo Jazz Festival appearance of one of Norway's sweetest-sounding jazz singers and her four musical collaborators. One of these men is probably the most inventive musicians in Norway at the moment, Morten Qvenild (also a member of Susanna & the Magical Orchestra and In The Country). This band manage to mix electronic clicks and squeaks with their more conventional instruments (piano, trumpet, double bass and drums) but in an incredibly subtle way. There is so much subtlety in the playing of all instruments - drummer Per Oddvar Johansen bowing the sides of cymbals spring to mind - that this show is a real quiet treat. Apparently one of Qvenild's influences is Morton Feldman, and gentle silences are welcome here. Most of the songs tonight come from their new album Pixiedust, dominated by interpretations of the songs of reclusive songwriter Peder Kjellsby. But they also perform a gripping version of Tom Waits' "Take It With Me," the audience hanging on every word Solveig sings, and an astonishing version of Nina Simone's song of damnation, "Nobody's Fault But Mine," bringing out all its necessary power and intensity. But there's a clever balance of light and darkness here, Billie Holiday's "Don't Explain" being followed immediately by an a capella "Look For The Silver Lining". Pure warmth.
Artist / Group Name:Solveig Slettahjell Slow Motion Quintet
Subtitle:Solveig Slettahjell Slow Motion Quintet at the 2005 Oslo Jazz Festival