Hakon Kornstad

Primary Instrument: Saxophone

Born: April 5, 1977    

Hakon Kornstad

Saxophonist Hakon Kornstad has enjoyed critical praise not only for his performance technique and emotional intelligence, but also for his willingness to experiment in a wide range of different expressive moods. Combining soundscapes and percussive beats and layers with a melodic sensibility, there's always been a sense of awe when listening to his recordings. In his newest offering, Dwell Time (Jazzland, 2009), we are again presented with his well-honed musicality, but this time the performances are all his own, in a scaled-down setting. It is a solo effort in every sense of the word.

In eight pieces we are offered a variety of expressions. From Still One, which seems to convey a reflective solitude, to the cool hipness of Oslo and the aptly titled Noir, Kornstad astounds us with his ability to masterfully grasp a spectrum of emotional output through his tenor sax, bass sax, flutonette, flute, in addition to his live looping. Recorded in the Sofienberg Chruch in Oslo, the album is produced by Kornstad as well....
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US reviews
The Norwegian saxophonist Hakon Kornstad has a deeply focused tone and a dazzling command of expressive effects. He puts it all to good use on ”Dwell Time” (Jazzland), his serene but potent new solo album.
Nate Chinen - New York Times

Adventurous, yet undeniably accessible, Single Engine is another rung on a ladder that Kornstad’s been climbing for the past few years. Along with Seim, he’s part of a new generation of Norwegian reed players regularly pushing the boundaries of the instrument, finding limitless potential through persistent experimentation.
John Kelman - AllAboutJazz (US)

Norwegian saxophonist Håkon Kornstad has been one of the central figures on the new Norwegian scene that aspires to break new vistas beyond the almost codified ECM representation of the Nordic scene (...) A Beautiful and impressive statement.
Eyal Hareuveni - AllAboutJazz (US)

Kornstad has conceived a singular approach to the saxophone, fully realized on this solo effort. (...) A highly inventive album. Single Engine is a definitive statement from an up and coming artist.
Cadence (US)

German reviews
Der feine skandinavische Jazz hat einen zweiten Ausnahme- Saxophonisten neben Jan Garbarek: Håkon Kornstad.
Leipziger Volkszeitung (DE)

Dann hat man die besten Gründe, neben Trygve Seim noch einen zweiten großen Saxophonisten aus dem Norden in der Nach-Garbarek-Ära zu begrüßen (...) konzentrierte, abwechslungsreiche, überraschungspralle Soloplatte von großer Souveränität.
Sonic (DE)

Eine wunderschöne und ernsthafte Interpretation des Hits »Crying In the Rain« von a-ha beschließt die Platte. Diese Norweger halten eben zusammen. (DE)

«SINGLE ENGINE» läuft nie leer - eine Solo-Platte so spannend hinzubekommen, ist schon eine Kunst. (...) mit dieser ebenso wunderbaren wie gründlichen Klangerforschung seines Instruments hat sich Kornstad auf Augenhöhe zwischen die Großen des Genres gestellt.
Nordische Musik (DE)

Kammermusikalische Introspektion mit einer Prise Gospel, irgendwo zwischen Jimmy Giuffre und Albert Ayler. Nach einer etwas längeren kreativen Durststrecke nimmt das einst so innovative Jazzland- Label endlich wieder Fahrt auf.
Stuttgarter Zeitung (DE)

Auf dem Weg zu einer neuen Vision des in weiten Teilen in Traditionsstarre verharrenden Jazz, ist dieser Saxofonist aus Norwegen ein großes Stück vorangeschritten.
Financial Times (DE) 4 of 5

Spannender und enorm vielseitiger Saxophon-Solo-Trip. Definitives highlight. (DE) 4 of 5

Norwegian reviews:
A definitive artistic breakthrough
Dagbladet (NO) - 6 of 6

I can't think of any saxophone player who sounds quite like Kornstad does
TV2 Nettavisen (NO) - 6 of 6

Frail, warm, funny, melodious, challenging and entertaining.
Nordlys (NO) - 6 of 6

For a decade he's been a central figure of the new Norwegian jazz scene. «Single Engine» is his first call to accounts, and is a strong and beautiful listening experience
Dagsavisen (NO)

Kornstad as a solo artist has let his music develop in an untied, free and natural way
Aftenposten (NO) - 5 of 6

A mature solo debut
VG (NO) - 5 of 6
  • Symphonies In My Head

    Jazzland Recordings
  • Hakon Kornstad: Symphonies In My Head

    Jazzland Recordings
  • Dwell Time

    Jazzland Recordings
  • Dwell Time

    Jazzland Recordings
  • Single Engine

    Jazzland Recordings
  • Single Engine

    Jazzland Recordings
  • The Bad And The Beautiful


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Extended Analysis

Hakon Kornstad: Symphonies In My Head

CD/LP/Track Review

Symphonies In My Head by Eyal Hareuveni

Dwell Time by Andrey Henkin

Dwell Time by Chris May

Dwell Time by Eyal Hareuveni

Dwell Time by John Kelman

Single Engine by Budd Kopman

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