Rune Grammofon

KJETIL MULELID - Piano LP

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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. Kjetil was sceptical when we first suggested a solo piano record back in early 2018, fully aware that solo piano in jazz is considered the ultimate challenge. But the idéa 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. Thus 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. We can only wholeheartedly agree, it sounds great and is also very well recorded and mixed, giving the impression that you sit next to him, and not in a concert hall. In turn melancholy, joyful and playful, always elegant, the album fully shows Kjetil’s harmonic and melodic mastery and the influence from early introductions to classical masters like Debussy, Chopin and Beethoven. 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.