The last time I saw Frode Alnæs, was with his band Dance With A Stranger who played their farewell tour this year. Before that I saw him with the Organ Club, a collaboration of Norwegian organ and jazz enthusiasts. I haven’t seen Frode Alnaes solo before, but Friday night he played with his trio at Olsen på Bryn.
We have many very good songwriters and artists in Norway, but few as good as Thomas Helland, or Thom Hell as he calls himself. He has released four solo albums plus a best of album in his own name, the latest, Six, was released a few weeks ago. Yesterday I saw his release concert at John Dee for Six in Oslo.
Karin Park is a Swedish singer songwriter who moved to Norway ten years ago and has more or less stayed here. I have seen her on stage off and on since 2003, and this year she co-wrote the winner song for Norway for the Eurosong contest, I Feed You My Love, that Margaret Berger sung to nr. 4 in the international finals. Last Thursday I saw Karin Park at the Usig festival at Garage in Bergen.
I have a special respect for artists and musicians who transcend the borders between musical styles and who also make it hard for music librarians to categorize in an easy way. Jamie Cullum is such an artist, who moves between jazz and pop with no obvious difficulty. He is only 34 years old, but has been recording since he was 19, and playing publicly even before that.
One of the concerts I enjoyed the best at SXSW this year, was with The Zombies. The band started out 51 years ago, but hasn’t been together for many years. But the last twenty years they have played together off and on, and this year they delighted a packed venue at SXSW with their songs.