Daniel Herskedal | Slow Eastbound Train
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DANIEL HERSKEDAL tuba, bass trumpet
EYOLF DALE piano
HELGE ANDREAS NORBAKKEN percussion
THE TRONDHEIM SOLOISTS chamber string orchestra
ERIK JOHANNESSEN producer
A tuba playing jazz musician might have the right to describe his sound as unique – after all, tuba soloists in jazz are as rare as hen’s teeth. But when we describe Norwegian tuba player and composer Daniel Herskedal as unique, we’re not referring to his choice of horn. In the last few years this young musician has proved he has the facility, vision and musicianship to push the boundaries of his instrument, technically and sonically, further than anyone has done so. The result , as demonstrated by his new album ‘Slow Eastbound Train’, is a spellbind- ing and mesmerising sound worthy of a vast international audience.
In Norwegian musicians Eyolf Dale (piano) and Helge Andreas Norbakken (percussion) as well as the Trond- heim Soloists, Norway’s most celebrated string orchestra, Daniel has the perfect vehicle to demonstrate his facility as both instrumentalist and composer. And ‘Slow Eastbound Train’ is a sublimely beautiful and melodic album full of diverse influences and unique soundscapes that entirely fulfils both Daniel’s promise and the full potential of this group.
Based in Copenhagen, Herskedal first came to our attention with the release of his superb album ‘Neck of the Woods’, a duo with saxophonist Marius Neset, in which his technical brilliance and combination of diverse influences firmly established his reputation on the European jazz scene as a world class musician and one to watch. Since then he has toured extensively throughout Europe with Django Bates, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra as well his own projects City Stories, Listen, Dagane and Magic Pocket.
Beneath the melodic, sublime, elegant themes that make up the pieces on ‘Slow Eastbound Train’ there’s a rhythmical energy in the string writing as well as the virtuosity of his tuba playing that gives the album its wonderfully varied and vibrant feel. This is the sound of a master arranger and musical thinker at work.
However we describe Daniel Herskedal, his work and his virtuosity, there’s no doubting that a major artist has arrived. It’s rare to find an artist with fresh ideas, the technical facility to push boundaries and the maturity to understand how to express this in the all-important listening experience, but with Daniel we are seeing the emergence of just such a one, We can only sit back and admire the result: a beautifully executed album that will continue to inspire and move us long into the future.
‘Norwegian tuba player Daniel Herskedal is nothing short of a miracle, which is mainly brought about by his perfect mastery of the instrument’. JAZZENZO
“…a formidable album, and a highlight in an album career that certainly hasn’t peaked yet.” Jazz In Norge, Terje Mosnes (NORWAY”S LEADING JAZZ JOURNALIST)
“European music, African American jazz and eastern influences makes this a form of ambitious world music in a class of its own.”
Romsdals Budstikke (KEY BLOG)
“Slow Eastbound Train” has been a wonderful confirmation that Herskedal is a super talent as a composer, arranger and not least as instrumentalist. Tor de jazz/Nettavisen – Online newspaper
“Captivated the audience with evocative geniality.” Concert review from Nattjazz Festival in Bergen
‘Daniel Herskedal has established a reputation for radiant eloquence and flawless virtuosity… his broadening palette is becoming a very inviting one’ John Fordham, The Guardian
“…makes the tuba sound like a different instrument, exquisite in hushed tones and his vocalised sounds…evoke moonlit prairies…” Jazzwise
“This album grabbed me straight away…on this album it’s (the tuba’s) everything…it sounds like a voice at times…it is pretty incredible. It really grabbed me.” Alexander Bone, BBC Radio 3 Jazz on 3
“…whatever the instrument, here is a player and a composer who is reaching for something fresh…Pianist Eyolf Dale and percussionist Helge Andreas Norbakken add weight, and the excellent Trondheim Soloists string orchestra give the whole thing a beguiling, cinematic quality.” Cormac Larkin, Irish Times
“…genius…a hugely ambitious suite featuring a string orchestra from Trondheim, piano and percussion alongside the deep sonorities of Herskedal’s tuba and bass trumpet. The music fairly skitters along, with ‘I Am The Walrus’ strings timed to the rhythms of Steve Reich.”
Phil Johnson, Independent on Sunday
“It’s a glorious sound, this…That man can do things with a tuba that’ll make your eyes pop out like organ stops. Sensational stuff…a wonderful combination of jazz and 21st century chamber music. I love it…superbly agile and feats of virtuosity I can hardly describe…” Stephen Duffy BBC Radio Scotland
“Sometimes, album titles tell all: sometimes they tell little or nothing. Slow Eastbound Train sits somewhere in between. Train? No obvious examples. Eastbound? Hmm. Slow? That pretty much describes the pace of much of the music on this album, by Norwegian musician and composer Daniel Herskedal. But none of these three words come close to describing the grace, inventiveness and beauty of this lovely recording.” All About Jazz
“It is indeed a fine week for new albums. And there’s one more release that I’d like to bring to your attention, Afterworders. It’s the new album “Slow Eastbound Train” by the brilliant young Norwegian tuba player Daniel Herskedal. If you like new Nordic jazz/chamber jazz/the ECM sound, then I reckon you’ll really go for it. Herskedal’s tuba doesn’t just go oom-pah, oom-pah. Oh no. What a beautiful sound he has.” The Afterword
“Pretty as a picture in its melodicism and rhythmic ingenuity Slow Eastbound Train is worth waiting a few extra minutes on the platform for.” Marlbank
“…it’s all beguilingly lovely, and together with the fine studio recording quality it makes this one of the richest sonic experiences you will have this year.” Jazz Breakfast
“Well, it did receive a third play and, as I became more involved in the music, I was increasingly drawn to the plaintive sound of the tuba and, indeed, I could envisage the progress of the Slow Eastbound Train – at times I was in the Dining Car, whilst at others I was in a double berth with a Nordic Princess. Music is the most evocative of the arts!” Bebop Spoken Here
“This is an album that doesn’t limit the ways in which it expresses beauty.” Bird Is The Worm
“Den Swing und die Quirligkeit des Jazz kombiniert Herskedal [..] mit eindrucksvoll-dramatischen Klanglandschaften. Immer wieder klingen dabei arabische und indische Einflüsse an.. Wie Wolken am blauen Sommerhimmel, so verändern auch Herskedals Stücke ständig ihre Form, spielen mit Klangimpressionen und elegant mäandernden Melodielinien.” Jazz-Tipp B5 aktuell 05/15
“Like clouds in the blue sommer sky, Herskedal’s pieces constantly change their form, and play with sound impressions and elegant meandering meolody lines.” Jazz-Tipp B5actuell
“Daniel Herskedal packt mit einem Ton, der mal nach zartem Floetenspiel, mal nach sphaerischer Fanfahrenwucht klingt… Da prasseln Regenguesse, tanzen Schneeflocken und wabert Bodennebel in den Ohren. Musik wie ein ueberraschendes Naturereignis.” KULTURTIPP **** 05/15 (KEY SWISS MAGAZINE)
“Daniel Herskedal grips with his tone, which sometimes sounds like soft flute playing and other times like spheric fanfare power… One can hear pelting rain showers, dancing snowflakes and swirling ground fog. Music like a surprising natural phenomenon.” Kulturtipp
“Der Norweger spielt eine wundervolle Tuba (und manchmal auch Basstrompete) und erwaermt mit derem sonoren Ton mein Herz beinahe so sehr wie die Fruehlingssonne auf dem Balkon.. hier [ist] ein grosses, unbedingt im Auge zu behaltendes Talent am Werk” WESTZEIT **** 05/15
“The Norwegian plays a wonderful Tuba (and sometimes also a bass trumpet) and with the sonority of its tone he warms my heart nearly as much as the spring sun on the balcony.. here, a great talent is at work who one should keep an eye out for.” Westzeit
“U-, E- und Ö-Musik: ..Die 18 Musiker verschmelzen U, E und Ö, wobei Ö das Östliche bezeichnet. Herskedal war in Serbien, Syrien, Palästina unterwegst. Er ruft uns die Schönheit dieser schwierigen Weltecken in Erinnerung.” DIE ZEIT 05/15
“..[Herskedal] spielt seit seiner Jugend Tuba. Und wie! Mit Herz statt nur mit Witz.. Schmatzend, atmend erhebt sich die verführerische Melodie aus der Tuba.. [und] die Basstrompete säuselt und singt, saugt den Hörer ein, die Reise kann beginnen.” DIE ZEIT 05/15
“…an enchanting imaginative triumph…imagination, brilliant technique, emotion and compositional maturity come together in a rare fusion.” nordische-musik.de
“The Norwegian tuba player Daniel Herskedal can, without hesitation, be described as exceptional. Not only because he occupies a unique position in Jazz as one of very few tuba players, but because he is also the jazz tuba player, who is capable, with his technical and musical possibilities, of expanding the boundaries of the instrument.” CONCERTO (A) 5 *****
“Daniel Herskedal is a Norwegian musician and composer who defies the conventions of the tuba. He pushes the technical boundaries and creates a sound that is enchanting and mesmerizing.” Alex Dutilh “Open Jazz” France Musique
“The trio also includes pianist Eyolf Dale and percussionist Helge Andreas Norbakken, and especially the latter’s creative playing and the odd choice of instrument puts its stamp on music.” LIRA
“Herskedal has created a cinematic album that will add a lot of color and soul to any eclectic music collection. A fruitful and highly expressive meeting between traditional and out of the box thinking.” IGLOO MAG
“So gorgeous, it’s stunning.” Bird Is The Worm blog
“Slow Eastbound Train is a great album, it is one of my favorite albums so far!” Nordik Simit
“A genuine triumph and a definite festival highlight” JAZZMAN (London Jazz Festival)
“He can make a tuba testify, yearn, lament, exult, or, as his listeners do, simply sigh with pleasure.” LONDON JAZZ NEWS (London Jazz Festival)
“Whether unaccompanied, as on the delightful “Minstrel Noir” or buoyed by strings on a sympathetic interpretation of Modest Mussorgsky’s “Bydlo” Herskedal’s inherently lyrical playing was never less than captivating.” ALL ABOUT JAZZ (Natazz)
“Captivated the audience with evocative genius…This was by far the strongest concert experience I have had so far this year. Can tuba be sexy? Yes, it can.” MUSIKKNYHETER (Natazz) 9/10 stars
“Daniel Herskedal is playing tuba like nobody else does. I must once again emphasize his sound. He utilizes all facets it has to offer. The register is huge, while his tenderness and musicality shines through.” FIRE FLATE (Molde Jazz)
“A concert to remember for a long time” ROMSDALS BUDSTIKKE 6/6 (Modle Jazz)
All music by Daniel Herskedal except Bydlo by Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky, arranged by Daniel Herskedal.
Recorded by August Wanngren in Bark Studio (Oslo) March 25th and 26th 2014 and by Rune Nordal in Nidaros Studio (Trondheim) March 29th and 30th 2014.
Mixed by August Wanngren at We Know Music Studios (Copenhagen) in July 2014, Mastered by Thomas Eberger at Stockholm Mastering (Stockholm) in August 2014.