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coverpic flag Norway - Full Moon 33 - 06/28/99

Ragnar Meidell Eriksen Trio
New Waves
MRC (distribution)

Saxophonist Ragnar Meidell Eriksen, along with bassist Jon Krogstad and percussionist Ivo Kråkstad, are definitely aiming for a bigger market than their hometown of Mo i Rana in northern Norway. From listening to New Waves I get the distinct feeling that I'm listening to something from the ECM label. That airy European jazz style, you know? Even the cover design hints at this influence.

It's not a typical jazz trio we're talking about, though. With no chordal instruments, the sound has lots of space. Jon Krogstad keeps the rhythm with some pretty amazing bass playing, while Ivo Kråkstad provides rhythmic excitement with a wide assortement of sounds - congas, bongos and other drums, and a plethora of cymbals. Meidell Eriksen's saxophone provides beautiful melodies that weave in between the other two players.

The compositions on New Waves range from fun, upbeat tunes to melancholic melodies. Meidell Eriksen has given lots of room for the percussionist, and also makes use of Ivo Kråkstad's Bulgarian background, with some nice rhythms in odd time signatures.

While the experienced jazz addict might not find this release particularly challenging to listen to, it still shows lots of promise. Hopefully we'll hear more from this trio.

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