Bugge Wesseltoft & Henrich Schwarz—Playing Together (Again)

Bugge Wesseltoft is a visionary and influential jazz musician from Norway and active as a future jazz advocate for over a quarter-century, since the mid-1990s.

Even his earliest recordings do not sound dated; instead, it reveals how he has consistently merged so smoothly electronic music (techno) with first-rate jazz players from Norway in sophisticated compositions still sounding ahead of their time.

While he has collaborated with musicians on dozens of albums for his own Jazzland Recordings, based in Oslo, he has only two solo recordings with piano, electric piano and computer-sounds along with minimalistic drums and the voice of shamanista Mari Boine (on “IM” released in 2007); then a few years later, he released “Playing” in 2009, more of a solo piano effort, contemplative, minimalistic and solemn. This one also includes tracks with warped manipulations, risky and menacing at times.

In 2011 (also on Jazzland Recordings) Wesseltoft took this concept to a higher level with “Duo” recorded with Henrich Schwarz (on computer).

The difference between “Duo” and “Playing” is in the keener interplay, allowing Bugge to concentrate on his end (piano and keyboard) with the counterpoint of an edgier deep-house and contemporary classical (crossover) producer and DJ (from Germany), as Schwarz was part of the progressive nu jazz scene at its peak with Compost Records (Munich).

This is partly an acoustic jazz set-up but then it crosses over into house music, ambient or experimental electronics as a duet, and as a modest project recorded ten years ago, it can still be called futuristic jazz.

Bugge Wesseltoft is reviving his duo with Henrich Schwarz for a Prague-exclusive, live improvisation performance at Palac Akropolis, as part of the Festival Spectaculare, Wednesday, May 11th

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