After winning the prestigious JazzIntro award in 2008, “Young Jazz Musicians of the year”, Albatrosh has had busy years. In 2009 they released their critically acclaimed debut album, “Seagull Island” (InnerEar), as the cohesive press celebrated with solid rolls of the dice, and by the big Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet described as “perhaps the most exciting release in Norwegian elite jazz in many years”. The album was also very well received outside the country . In 2010 they released their second album “Mystery Orchestra with Grenager & Tafjord”, featuring cellist Lene Grenager and horn player Hild Sofie Tafjord. This album recieved great reviews as well, and the Norwegian newspaper Dagsavisen ranked it to be the best Norwegian jazz record of 2010.
In 2011 Albatrosh signed a record contract with the major jazz/impro label Rune Grammofon. This resulted in the album “Yonkers“, which was released internationally in january 2012, with 6/6 stars in Norway´s biggest newspaper and great reviews in The Guardian, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, New York Times and lots of others.
Albatrosh has toured all over Norway, played at the majority of Norwegian festivals like Molde Jazz Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival and PUNKT, as well as 12 Points! in Dublin, Shanghai Arts Festival and North Sea Jazz. They´ve also toured in USA, Italy, Germany, France, Poland, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark. At North Sea jazz 2009 they took part in the European Jazz Competition, and won the the prestigious 1st prize “Best Band”. Jury chairman, Maria Schneider said:
“Most original, great interplay and amazing improvisation, effective and colorful compositions paired to amazing improvisation.” This meant a considerable sum of money, radio play across Europe as well as a dedicated concert at North Sea Jazz 2010.
The music of Albatrosh operates within the jazz genre in a kind of chamber-musical sound. The material is based on original compositions by Dale/Roligheten with plenty of room for improvisation, where the essence is how they combine the composed with the improvised. An observant listener once stated: “…one gets the feeling of that absolutely anything can happen, while it all have a connection!”
Besides out work as a duet, we´ve also done a lot of projects and concerts with guest musicians.Here´s some of them.
Trondheim Jazz Orchestra
We wrote a commissioned piece to Molde Jazz Festival in 2013, “Tree House”. This 14-piece orchestra featured some of the greatest Norwegian musicians as well as visual artwork by Andreas Paleologos.
Composition workshops and trio playing with alto horn, springtime 2009
Hild Sofie Tafjord & Lene Grenager
We wrote music for this quartet in 2009, and toured all over Norway that autumn. The music were recorded in Rainbow studio October 2009 and released as “Mystery Orchestra with Grenager & Tafjord” late 2010.
We had a week of playing and rehearsing with the legendary free impro drummer in 2010. He´s known for his collaborations with Slippenbach trio and other groundbreaking ensembles. We also did a concert at Chateau Neuf in Oslo that autumn.
With this amazing singer based in New York, we did a concert in Brooklyn spring 2011. His unique character added some amazing textures to our music, and his way of blending in the sound of the piano and saxophone was really interesting. We played mainly our own compositions, with Theo added some of his own work as well. For the first time Albatrosh played a concert including electronics.
During the same trip to USA, we also did a project with this groundbreaking alto player. His immense energy and expressive style of playing inspired us a lot. We did one gig with him in Manhattan, and he also joined us with Theo Bleckman at our Brooklyn gig.