The untitled ECM double-album debut of young Norwegian saxophonist, composer and improviser Mette Henriette Martedatter Rølvåg is an arrestingly original musical statement. ‘Jazz’ players and ‘classical’ players are drawn together in her ensembles, but the music shapes its own world, outside genre definitions. Mette Henriette is interlacing form and freedom in fresh ways here, as her intense and focused tenor saxophone sound moves inside compositions of sometimes disarming fragility.
In this music, vulnerability can be as potent a force as full-tilt blowing, but there is a place for both. The recording’s expressive and emotional range is wide. Disc one here features trio music with Mette Henriette, pianist Johan Lindvall and cellist Katrine Schiøtt. Disc two has Mette’s “sinfonietta” with thirteen players. Line-up of the larger group includes some names familiar to ECM listeners – trumpeter Eivind Lønning, drummer Per Oddvar Johansen, and the members of the Cikada Quartet – , all pooling creative energies to serve Mette’s music. The album was recorded at sessions in Oslo in May and August 2014, and produced by Manfred Eicher.
Initially published on CD in October 2015, vinyl is issued in September 2019 featuring music selected by Mette Henriette.