Moskus Salmesykkel

Moskus is a youthful Norwegian piano trio that specialize in quiet, fireside jazz with a colourful personality that sets their music apart from the soft jazz milieu. Over the course of ten self-written compositions, they demonstrate a maturity and softness that are actually quite refreshing in today's blow-your-guts-out jazz universe. Anja Lauvdal brings a sense of economy to her piano playing, while double-bassist Fredrik Dietrichson and drummer Hans Hulbækmo bounce along at whatever speed suits the piece at hand. At times, Hulbækmo's percussive activities stray into the land of the ramshackle, but this lends a unique sense of freshness and vitality to the proceedings without ever becoming distracting. Although the trio admit to a host of influences — from Paul and Carla Bley to post-rock to French pancakes — they've achieved a sonic identity they can certainly call their own. That Salmesykkel is their debut is a magnificent achievement. (Hubro)