36th Vilnius Jazz Festival. 12-16 October, 2022

Mette Rasmussen Trio North

Denmark-Norway

Mette Rasmussen – as
Ingebrigt Håker Flaten – db
Olaf Moses Olsen – dr

These outstanding improvisers got together in Trondheim. Trondheim based Danish saxophonist Mette Rasmussen took the lead of a trio of friends in 2019, after being asked to present an original project at Victoria Jazz Club in Oslo. A talented improviser and a daring explorer of the saxophone’s possibilities, she decided to test herself by presenting a fiery original programme with the trio on Oslo’s renowned jazz scene.

Last year, the Rasmussen Trio, in which O. M. Olsen was replaced by American drummer Chris Corsano, has already been applauded by the audiences of the Berlin, Tampere and Sarajevo jazz festivals, Vienna’s Porgy & Bess, Amsterdam’s Bimhuis and the Munich Unterfahrt jazz clubs, Ljubljana’s Cankarjev Dom, and the Cologne Stadgarten. The trio’s leader presented her new works at those prestigious venues.

In the world of free jazz and improvised music, Mette Rasmussen is known for her “explosive energy”. Whether performing solo or in Mats Gustafsson’s Fire! Orchestra and Godspeed You! Black Emperor, the sparks fly on all sides with her improvisations. At times Mette’s alto saxophone is reminiscent of the legendary Albert Ayler, at others of Gustafsson’s fierce passages, but the Dane is able to sidestep these influences and assert her own individual sound in piercingly high tones and controlled outbursts of free playing.

Exploring the sonic possibilities and expressive boundaries of the saxophone, Rasmussen employs a broad palette of techniques, constantly expanding the musical vocabulary of the instrument.

Born in Aarhus, she studied music in Helsinki and is currently pursuing her PhD at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

Since the beginning of her career, she has been a member of various trios: she has played with Kasper Tom Christiansen and Andreas Lang, was the leader of the trio Riot with British saxophonist Sam Andreae and Swiss drummer David Meier, and has toured with Corsano and Georges Paul. She has also played with Corsano as a duo, and has released albums with Corsano and as a trio with Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon.

Rasmussen has also collaborated with Alan Silva, Tobias Delius, Rudi Mahall, Wilbert de Joode, Axel Dörner, John Edwards, Craig Taborn, Ståle Liavik Solberg, and bands led by Gustafsson.

She has toured with numerous partners and ensembles, including Sofia Jernberg, Knarr, The Hatch, Julien Desprez, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Zeena Parkins, Barry Guy, Val Jeanty, Petter Eld, Savannah Harris.

In recent years, Rasmussen has spent more time on tour than at home, performing around 150 concerts a year.

Norwegian double bassist and composer Ingebrigt Håker Flaten is known to the Vilnius Jazz audience from the appearances with the legendary Scandinavian bands The Thing and Atomic, and the American band The Young Mothers. He last took to the Vilnius Jazz stage in 2019 with David Murray, an American jazz coryphée.

Ingebrigt studied jazz at the Trondheim Conservatory, and later honed his sound by playing with various Scandinavian and overseas bands.

He calls Derek Bailey, George Russell, Chris McGregor and film director Ingmar Bergman as his teachers; punk music and contemporary pop, as well as the sights and sounds of everyday life as his sources of inspiration. Critics have compared the double bassist to such luminaries as Paul Chambers, Wilbur Ware, Charlie Haden and Malachi Favors.

It would be hard to imagine The Thing, Free Fall, Atomic, Scorch Trio without this improviser. In 2004, he also made his debut as a leader with his Chicago Sextet, and since 2011 his aesthetics and philosophy have been expressed by The Young Mothers, the Austin (Texas, US) based group.

In 2006, the bassist moved to the US, first to Chicago and then to Austin. After arriving in Texas, he founded not only the band, but also the avant-garde festival Sonic Transmissions, which brought together the punk, hip-hop, free jazz and indie scenes. The Norwegian has been critically acclaimed for opening up new territories for local musicians and raising the criterion for alternative music in Austin. Between 2015 and 2020, Sonic Transmissions has presented over 100 musicians from the US, Latin America, Norway and other European countries.

Since Flaten’s move back to Norway in 2020, Sonic Transmissions has been expanded into the Trondheim based festival Sonic Transmissions North and label Sonic Transmissions Records.

In addition to the aforementioned bands, the bassist plays in Icepick, I.P.A. and Dave Rempis’ Percussion Quartet, in various duos and solo. He has toured extensively around the world and his instrument is heard on more than 200 albums.

Flaten has performed and recorded with Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love, Frode Gjerstad, Dave Rempis, Bobby Bradford, AALY Trio, Ken Vandermark, Stephen Gauci, Tony Malaby, Daniel Levin, Dennis Gonzalez and many other jazz masters.

In 2018, the bassist was awarded the Buddy Prize, the most prestigious award in Norwegian jazz. With Atomic, he has won the Spellemannprisen, Norway’s Grammy, twice. Flaten was repeatedly featured among the best in the critics’ poll of the influential jazz magazine Downbeat.

Norwegian drummer Olaf Moses Olsen is active on jazz, rock, neo prog and techno music scene. He has enjoyed a two-decade partnership with the renowned Norwegian rock band BigBang.

He has also toured and recorded albums with renowned Danish rocker Tim Christensen, group Needlepoint, worked with Fra det Onde, Steamdome and Knarr. He often performs with his brother, the renowned DJ, songwriter and record producer Terje Olsen (stage name: Todd Terje). 

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