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Norwegian drummer/composer Gard Nilssen debuts on We Jazz Records with his major new album “Family” with the 17-piece Supersonic Orchestra. A veritable who’s who of Scandinavian jazz (and beyond), the Supersonic Orchestra is one of the most exciting large groups in the current international jazz circuit. Captured at Mondriaan Jazz Festival in Den Haag, Netherlands, “Family” presents the ensemble in top form across the 8 tracks, all of which are original compositions by Gard Nilssen and André Roligheten.

Supersonic Orchestra consists of 7 saxophones, 2 trombones, 2 trumpets, 3 double basses and 3 drum sets. Do the quick math and you’ll guess that the band spits fire when they need to, but that’s not nearly the whole story here. There’s a natural ebb and flow to the music, and the tunes are catchy to the bone. This is not free blowing just for the sake of it, but music that is borne out the love for the totality of the ensemble sound here, and even more so of the necessity to write and arrange music for this “family”.

Goran Kajfes, Signe Emmeluth, Maciej Obara, Mette Rasmussen, Petter Eldh, Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and Hans Hulbækmo are just a few of the names that feature here with the bandleader Nilssen and his in house arranger Roligheten. As you hear here, on stage Supersonic Orchestra is a festival of a band unto itself. Whether an all out dragon’s roar or a quiet whisper of a solo bass, this is a big band bear hug on all 17 cylinders.

Cat. number: WJLP55
Year: 2023
Recorded live in concert at Mondriaan Jazz at Paard Van Troje, Den Haag, Netherlands 8 October 2022. Concert sound by Jørgen Brennhovd. Gard plays Gretsch drums and Istanbul Mehmet cymbals.

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