Primary Instrument: Saxophone
Saxophonist and composer Gaute Solaas received praise as a “natural” from an early age, primarily focusing on jazz and improvised music. He recorded regularly for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation as a child, and received commissions for orchestral scores while still a teen. At 19 Gaute turned professional and toured with Norwegian contemporaries like Erlend Skomsvoll (Chick Corea, Pat Metheny), Eivind Opsvik (Tony Malaby, Bill Frisell) and many more.
In 1995 he was accepted into The Eastman School of Music, later transferred to The Steinhardt School in NYC, and soon found himself freelancing in Manhattan with his American brethren.
Coming up through the uniquely fertile music environment of his native Norway, he peeks over the shoulders of folks like Jan Garbarek, Arild Andersen, Jon Christensen, Jon Balke and many other ECM recording artists. Yet, Gaute has developed a voice all his own, an amalgamation of European and American art music sensibilities.
Gaute has two main projects running; SERPENTINE, his outlet for through-composed new jazz featuring three tenors, bass and drums, and The Gaute Solaas Group his solo project featuring sax, pedal steel, B-3 and drums.
Write-up on the SERPENTINE debut at SXSW 2011, by jazz critic Clifford Allen:
Last night I was able to check out recent Austin transplant Gaute Solaas' project Serpentine (Gaute also hails from Norway) in its American incarnation at Central Presbyterian Church. The band present for last night's performance was different from those in the video below, but you can get an idea of the vibe present throughout. Try to imagine three interweaving tenor saxophones and their attendant colors and sonic shapes filling up a large church - the only apt response seemed to be leaning back and closing one's eyes. I can only imagine what Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman sounded like filling up St. Peter's in New York in 1967 for Trane's funeral.
...I like you, you are not like all the other guys trying to play either just vertically or just horizontally, all the xxxxxxx time. You play the angles. I like that...
--TEO MACERO, NY, 1999, Producer for Miles Davis, John Coltrane and more