Quiet Winter Night from the Hoff Ensemble is an album of music that features “Jazz, Folk and Beyond”. Quiet Winter Night is one of 2L’s best selling albums of all time.
The Hoff Ensemble consists of some of Norway’s finest jazz and session musicians, fronted by trumpeter Mathias Eick, of ECM renown, who plays a leading role in several of the compositions. The ensemble’s basic quartet features legendary veteran bassist Arild Andersen and arranger Jan Gunnar Hoff on piano. Hoff has performed with his own group since 1993, collaborating with such artists as Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Maria Joao and Alex Acuna.
This time in this great Norwegian ensemble he mixes flavors in a “cross-over” setting. Eick, with whom Hoff has worked on earlier projects, was the obvious first choice for Quiet Winter Night, along with Andersen and the rest of the band, complemented by Rune Arnesen (ex N.P.Molvær) on percussion and Børge Petersen-Øverleir, Norway’s leading session guitarist.
Brilliant fiddle player Annbjørg Lien is an exciting addition to the Hoff Ensemble, giving Quiet Winter Night a sound that is definitely Nordic with elements of jazz, folk and beyond, making this an interesting and original journey. On some of the instrumental tracks, like “Blågutten”, Eick and Petersen-Øverleir create an overall jazz/fusion sound, while the trio setting of “Redd Mamma” is reminiscent of the work of Sweden’s Jan Johansson. “Hva skal hende nå” bears comparison with Metheny’s ballad form, yet with a more rock-influenced guitar sound. This tune also includes a great bass solo by Andersen.
The music is created by film composers Geir Bøhren and Bent Åserud and among the vocalists are some of Norway’s top names (and Universal artists) in popular music: Helene Bøksle, Åsne Valland Nordli, Sondre Bratland, Unni Wilhelmsen, Tomine Harket, Bjørn Johan Muri, Cecilia Vennersten and Bjørn Eidsvåg.
Total time: 00:50:12
Sphynx2 Converters, Merging Technologies
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Utovende Kunstnere and Norsk Kulturrad
|Original Recording Format|
Sofienberg Church, Norway in August 2011
Pyramix, Merging Technologies
|Recording Type & Bit Rate||
|Release Date||April 18, 2019|
Hi-Fi News & Record Review
This collective of Norwegian jazz talent is fronted by ECM stalwart multi-instrumentalist Mathias Eick, whose trumpet turns here assist in delivering an album that falls between labels.
The bulk of the music is based on a jazz trio, yes, but often (the opening three and the last song in particular) overlaid with folksy fiddle and lyrical vocal parts that recall Glen Hansard’s recent work with Marketa Irglova.
Reminiscent also of Clannad’s Celtic calm, so serenely do they float along with that lovely languor and suffering nothing for the foreign language lyrics. Rune Arnesen’s percussion delivery is a highlight – unobtrusively but dynamically captured in the wide open spaces left within arranger Jan Gunnar Hoff’s presentation of the music by film composers Geir Bohren and Bent Aserud.
Native DSD Listener
I have over 100 high fidelity albums but there are 3 to 5 or so which are always a must listen when I fire things up. The sound quality and music on this are just fantastic. If I were on a desert island and had to choose only 3 albums, this would be one of them. This is a must have for any collection.
Jan Gunnar Hoff and his ensemble give us an anthology of Scandinavian folk music. This album is beautiful, meditative and melancholy, with a lot of vocals. Thus, we discover very beautiful Norwegian talents like Helene Bøksle, Åsne Valland Nordli, Sondre Bratland, Unni Wilhelmsen, Tomine Harket, Bjørn Eidsvåg, Johan Muri, Cecilia Vennersten and Bjørn Eidsvåg. But the sextet of the Norwegian pianist and composer also includes excellent musicians like the bassist Arild Andersen or the trumpet player Mathias Eick.
All the pieces are from the film production of composers Geir Bohren and Bent Åserud, and, beyond the Scandinavian sound and the winter theme, recreate a true Nordic atmosphere, of course. The typical stringed instruments add to the folk dimension, such as the Hardanger violin and the nyckelharpa.
The production of Morten Lindberg, as usual, is free from reproach, and the acoustic ensemble is very well captured in the small church Sofienberg Oslo. The recording is at once clear, airy and natural, with very fine quality bass.
In the end, this is a joyful album. Moving and accessible, to listen quietly, and not necessarily that during the long winter evenings …
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