Bjørn to Be Wild? Norwegian Jazz Drummers from K to N

Every year my Christmas Grinch schtick lingers past the expiration date, like a dried up ole Christmas tree that the family got too lazy to throw away. So, the first order of business here is to bump that puppy off the top.

Not only is it unsightly, it’s a fire hazard.

So, we turn to another worn out BoFN tradition to get the job done. That’s right! It’s Norwegian jazz time!!!!

This all started with bass player names. We discovered a disproportionate percentage of Norwegians, with extraordinary talent and outstanding names–at least from our non-Norwegian BoFN perspective. Then we moved on to drums, and it started to get just ridiculous. I mean, seriously?

It seems like if you walked down the street in Oslo, every third or fourth person would be a jazz musician. And that’s a conservative estimate.

Anyway, we took it to J last time, and feel pretty confident as we move ahead to K.

Two drummer names of note, and both take a walk on the mild side. First, we have Andreas Lønmo Knudsrød, whose understated brush sticks we can hear below in “Say No More,” a moody contemporary cut with Emilie Christensen and Harald Lassen,

Next, Bjørn Krokfoss, who has been both a drummer and bandleader for several traditional swing ensembles. Bjørn is a pillar of the jazz and arts community in Trondheim. His bandmates (at least for what I’ve sampled) have impressive chops and hold together a bright, tight sound. “Good Queen Bess” here is no exception.

The album is Kroks Fot (2018), which means “Hook Foot.” Nice play on words, there, Bjørn! We hope Bjørn can take a joke as well as make one, because we hereby place him among the other immortals of BoFN.

Moving on to L, our featured drummer/composer is Torstein Lofthus, a hugely sought after musician not only in Norway but all over Europe. He lays down some hard funk in the drum solo below.

We’re already seeing a mighty range in jazz genres here.

Surprisingly, there’s only have one drummer to choose from for M, but a worthy entry: Ole Mofjell. Everything I can find of Ole and his associates is waaaay outside (to use some hep jazz lingo), including this cut. For me, they channel Ornette Coleman (a good thing).

At the risk of jumping the Sjark, I’m going to move on to N. Here we encounter a problem similar to we had with “J” in the last episode. All of the drummers with N names sound kind of normal and . . . you know . . . just . . . Scandinavian. I’m going to go with Helge Andreas Norbakken, just because it’s the best I can do.

Here Helge plays “The Tree Did Not Die” with Phronesis, from their We Are All album.

Wow, I got lucky here. This is a great group and piece to round up the post. Outstanding!

Until we meet again at the letter O, this is wdydfae signing off and wishing you a Happy 2021!

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13 Responses to Bjørn to Be Wild? Norwegian Jazz Drummers from K to N

  1. Love this post! Even the leap to N and the variety of music. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  2. beth says:

    ‘hook foot’ amazing and just what I needed this morning )

  3. kerbey says:

    I’m with Beth. Hook Foot is the one that stays with you. The beat of that last one is unsettling, though. It’s what heart palpitations feel like.

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