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Gaute Storsve Trio — El Gran Gotzilla
(Apollon Records AP105, 2022, CD / LP / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2023-07-20

El Gran Gotzilla Cover art

We’ve encountered Norwegian guitarist Gaute Storsve several times before as a guest on albums by Sleepyard and Weserbergland, sometimes playing bass, but none of that will prepare a listener for this album with his trio. We are definitely in jazz territory here, touching on a number of different styles. I suppose the title El Gran Gotzilla might lead to thoughts of monster fusion workouts, but Storsve has different ideas. “Las Dos Fridas” starts out the set with some delicate Spanish-inflected playing with subtle backing from bass (Petter Barg) and drums (Henning Carlsen), augmented by understated strings from Ingrid Berg Mehus. The guitar’s tone is clean and avoids any intrusions from the rock vocabulary. With “¿Nada? ¡Nunca!” we get a latin groove driven by Angel Terry Domech’s batá drums, and Jørgen Mathisen’s soprano saxophone joins in. The result is a tasty meshing of latin and Gypsy jazz styles, with the Gypsy part courtesy of the violin. “The Lucha Libre Lullaby” presents yet another flavor of jazz: rough jazz-rock a little reminiscent of Raoul Björkenheim. Mathisen switches to baritone sax, and the rhythm section ups the intensity while Storsve adds distortion to his tone. Barg also contributes an up-front bass solo in this scorcher of a track. The other three pieces include a lovely ballad with emotive violin, another percussion-heavy latin groove, and another fusion workout. In all, it’s a fine album by a guitarist of supreme taste and versatility who’s more interested in good tunes than flashy technical displays. Recommended!

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Gaute Storsve

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