Exposé Online banner

Frigg — Frigg
(NorthSide NSD6079, 2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2004-09-01

Frigg Cover artNot to be confused with the German Frigg, a jazz quartet led by guitarist Bert Wrede, this Finnish seven-piece is an acoustic fiddle orgy. Five members play fiddle at least part-time, bringing to mind JPP, but where that ensemble stays fairly traditional in their arrangements, Frigg brings a more eclectic, modern approach to the music, bringing in some American and Celtic flavors. It’s a little like an acoustic Värttinä set with multiple fiddles instead of singers. The rhythms are tricky, with accents likely to appear just about anywhere in a measure, giving the impression of shifting meters even when it’s really straight four or three. About half of the tunes are traditional and half original compositions, but for a non-Finn listening there seems little difference, which is not a bad thing. Aside from the fiddles, you get guitar, dobro, harmonium, mandolin, cittern, viola, and nyckelharpa, the traditional Swedish keyed violin. As if that weren’t enough, guests supply drums and percussion (very infrequently), accordion and piano. The dobro in particular lends an unexpected twist, with a little bluesy twang behind the lilting fiddles. And they have the good sense to vary the arrangements, so sometimes only a single instrument carries the tune, sometimes the whole crew, and various stages in between. If you haven’t overdosed on Nordic folk music yet, Frigg is a good addition to your collection.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 30, 2002 releases

Related artist(s): Frigg, Esko Järvelä

Latest news

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Five-O-One AM - 21st Century Dream – Somewhere between Marillion (Season's End) and the SI label bands Lies Five-O-One AM. That is, song oriented pop with elements of prog. Combine that with WMMS's reputation and Five-O-One AM...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues