Moskus could be the perfect 21st century piano, bass and drums trio. Rather than fetishising about the acoustic purity of their sound, the virtuosity of their instrumental technique, or the integrity of their compositional structures, Anja Lauvdal (keys), Fredrik Luhr Deitrichson (double bass) and Hans Hulbækmo (drums/percussion) seem to improvise on ideas more than themes or tunes, and to change direction quickly and effectively as they go, abandoning one thought for another with a refreshing lack of fuss. With loads of positive reviews on their previous albums, and three Grammy nominations, Moskus are back with their fourth album «Mirakler». Released via Hubro and Grappa last month, this stroke of genius has sparked more fuzz than any of their releases.
The musical roots of the group are firmly planted in the fertile earth of chamber jazz, but have been nourished by everything from hymns to the films of Ivo Caprino, from the music of Paul and Carla Bley to late-night skiing trips in the mountains, from post-rock to French pancakes and gospel.
Reviews for Salmesykkel
"Moskus sound like Norway's latest young cult-status candidates (…) while they recall the chamber-jazz sound of Tord Gustavsen in their casually scattered piano motifs, pulsing bass-lines and softly tramping drums, they also draw on rich idiomatic resources of their own."
The Guardian - John Fordham (UK)
"Let's get the linguistic problems out of the way first. This moose-related piano trio from Trondheim, Norway, whose album title translates (loosely?) as "Hymn Bicycle", have a bright, playful style that combines a little groove with a lot of serious sentience. Pianist Anja Lauvdal comes across as a real talent, with an unshowy yet structurally alert approach, heard to great effect in the catchy opening title track. Things get chewier later on."
Independent on Sunday - Phil Johnson (UK)
"With some significant touring already under its belt, Moskus is beginning to stretch out to other countries, including Denmark, Portugal and the UK, where it performed as part of a night devoted to its label, Hubro. (...) With groups like Moskus joining the label and releasing records like Salmesykkel, it seems that Norwegian waves will continue, one after the other, as fresh young artists find new and innovate ways to stretch tradition into new and hitherto unheard of forms."
Allaboutjazz - John Kelman
"A remarkably mature recording, nothing sounds forced or hurried as the young trio develop their ideas at their own pace."
"Salmesykkel is a quiet joy; a thoughtful, unshowy piece of work whose maturity and poise seems at odds with the tender ages of its creators."
BBC - Peter Marsh
"Moskus is a youthful Norwegian piano trio that specialize in quiet, fireside jazz with a colourful personality that sets their music apart from the soft jazz milieu. Over the course of ten self-written compositions, they demonstrate a maturity and softness that are actually quite refreshing in today's blow-your-guts-out jazz universe(...) Although the trio admit to a host of influences — from Paul and Carla Bley to post-rock to French pancakes — they've achieved a sonic identity they can certainly call their own. That Salmesykkel is their debut is a magnificent achievement."
"Now, here’s a fabulous way to start the day: with melodious yet creative, perfectly balanced Scandinavian jazz. Anja Lauvdal on piano, Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson on doublebass, Hans Hulbækmo on drums. Sophisticated compositions, sensibly performed. Bold combination of themes in “Salmesykkel,” melodic heights in “Nar det regne pa presten dryp det pa klokkarn,” delicate landing with “Moskus.” Recommended."
Monsieur Delire (CA)