Exposé Online banner

Helge Sunde & Ensemble Denada — Windfall
(Ozella OZ 053CD, 2013, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2013-10-17

Windfall Cover artRarely do I come across a recording that I enjoy so much, yet find so hard to describe and categorize. “The Speedcouch” opens this set of seven tracks by Norwegian trombonist and composer Helge Sunde and his fifteen-piece orchestra, and at first hearing one might believe this to be some kind of avant-garde classical workout, but before long (in fact, barely a few minutes in) Windfall begins to reveal itself for what it is: instrumental, orchestral jazz of the highest order. The many layers of sound and variety of solos available to an ensemble with fifteen players offers room for the styles to wander around a bit within the jazz idiom, and there are some real surprises around every turn. For example “Seven Winds” begins in a somewhat laid-back 70s ECM style and then starts blossoming with beautiful textures and solos. “The Entire Truth” is a relaxed piece brought in with some gentle Holdsworth-like guitar washes, later to be spun into a beautiful piano-supported piece with strong melodies and a warm guitar-solo section. “Sidewalk” and “Moosic” maintain a lively and brisk pace, with powerful arrangements and strong melodies, but are very different from one another. “The Arrow” mostly stays in laid-back territory with long sweeping chordage and magical piano textures, and near the end features a reading by Norwegian poet Olav H. Hauge, closing the disc nicely. So for the nuts and bolts, we have Sunde and two other trombone players, two trumpets, flugelhorn. A full family of saxophones, alto flute, alto and bass clarinet, sampling and electronics, piano, bass, guitar and drums. I guess at times I hear hints of Grand Wazoo era Zappa, Jaga Jazzist (although this sounds like neither really), and other big bands with a more tempered and composed approach. This is some seriously good stuff.

Filed under: New releases, 2013 releases

Related artist(s): Helge Sunde

Latest news

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more

2020-01-07
Joel Vandroogenbroeck RIP – Word has reached us of the death of Joel Vandroogenbroeck, best known as one of the founders of Brainticket, He also recorded electronic music under a variety of names. He was born August 25th, 1938 in Brussels, Belgium and died December 23, 2019 in Arlesheim, Switzerland, aged 81. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tangle Edge - Eulogy – If one doesn't count all the bootlegs of this that have been floating around for the last few years, then it's really not a reissue - as it's never been legitimately available before. This is Tangle...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues