Bass-less trio BMX started in 2006, intended as an one-off. Its line-up initially inspired by the Motian-Frisell-Lovano trio, BMX soon took on a shape of its own. With mostly original material, the group's focus is on developing songs in real-time at every performance, giving the music a beautiful sense of exploration. Now the debut album, featuring the legendary trumpeter and vocalist Per Jørgensen, is here.
Bergen Open is the result of the great chemistry shared between these four musicians. Since their initial meeting at the Nattjazz Festival 2007, three tours has followed, leading to a recording date in April 2010. Released as a double disc on the Norwegian NORCD label, Bergen Open focus on two different approaches to music making, albeit with many similarities. The first sound check in the studio resulted in a 19-minute spontaneously composed piece, which is featured on the album alongside five of Njål Ølnes' originals. After the initial sound check, levels were set and they were just going to try out the sound a bit more before commencing recording. The result of this second sound check fills all of disc one. A 70-minute take was edited down to 47 minutes of improvised glory - possibly the best performance the group has ever done
Fusing the lines between composition and improvisation is this band's forte. Not eager to replicate more conventional abstract improv, BMX tries to make improvisation sound composed and vice versa. Not to say that abstract language or influences from minimalist music is frown upon - it is warmly welcomed, but only in the same degree as they welcome the influence of rock, 30s swing, West-African, programmed beats... With an insightful text provided by musicologist Erik Steinskog, this is put in a larger context in the accompanying liner notes.