AKSEL RØED’S OTHER ASPECTS – 22.02.2023 – Bergen, Norway
- by J.N.
- Posted on 24-02-2023
Being rather infatuated and taken with the vibrant and playful debut offering by Aksel Røed’s Other Aspects titled Do You Dream in Colours?, I could not resist the temptation to witness this talented ensemble live on stage in the cozy environs of Bergen Kjøtt. While jazz (and jazz rock for that matter) is not something that we usually write a whole lot about on these pages, Aksel Røed and his talented cohorts offer something wildly exciting that definitely ought to appeal to fans of jazz prog or progressive rock that leans toward the jazz spectrum. The Canterbury scene, anyone?
Arriving at the venue in good time before the show and having said hello to the friendly staff, I armed myself with a cup of coffee and found a decent spot at the back. The group went on stage at 7:15 PM and the place was pretty full by that time, which added a nice touch to the intimate and inviting atmosphere. Warmth is one word that certainly sums up the event in more ways than one, which is to say that the organic and lively music emanating from the edge of the stage went hand in hand with the whole vibe at Bergen Kjøtt. As with their impressive LP, the outfit displayed passion, energy, and musical inventiveness when bringing out all the light, shade, and nuances of their song material in front of the appreciative crowd. While the performance felt and sounded very cohesive overall (one technical problem was easily overcome and handled in a most charming manner by Aksel), there were some truly exceptional moments to be found in the shape of the melancholy ‘I Usually Paint by Myself’ and the heartfelt, blistering rendition of ‘When You Dream in Colours’. The slightly darker and brooding tones that occasionally reared their heads appealed to me greatly and the band conjured up some interesting contradictions at times. In addition, the improvised sections were engaging and captivating too, and it was fabulous to see how much fun those guys had with those segments. As I told my friend Martin after the gig, it was both inspired and inspiring, and the dynamics of it all were quite thrilling to experience. The openminded listeners out there should check the album out (and also the previous releases by Is It Jazz? Records since you are at it).