Articles and Reviews in English

Eyal Hareuveni on The Free Jazz Collective

15th July 2016

 

Italian journalist Luca vitali is the first writer who managed to explain what seemed to be the sudden popularity of Norwegian jazz, in its many formations and manifestations, since the mid-nineties and until today. Many articles in music magazines, websites and blogs or academic dissertations, attempted before to explore different aspects of this cultural phenomenon, but none of the writers succeeded to describe it from so many angles as Vitali did.

Vitali, who published the book originally in Italian, has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of Norwegian, and in many instances even an intimate and personal familiarity with many of the heroes of that scene. But not only the musical sphere. He tells in a concise and informative language how Norway cultivated a healthy, ever growing cultural environment - encouraging music education from early age, investing in excellent music academies, establishing many renowned jazz festivals, and supporting economic initiatives that fertilize mixing of genres and styles. He, obviously, knows all the local clubs, active and defunct, sound engineers, journalists, festival managers and many more. Vitali knows the history of Norway, have insightful remarks abbot its still egalitarian social and economic structure and identifies with the great love of the Norwegians with the local nature scenery. (...)

Eyal Hareuveni

Stuart Nicholson on JazzWise - may release

May 2016

 

(...) Like any Lonely Planet writer, he seeks to uncover and reveal the riches of what he sees, and from the comfort of your armchair gets you wanting to do some exploring of your own by providing occasional
insider details that brings his guide to life. But with so many names to conjure with during the course of his journey, an index would have been helpful, but since publishers usually throw this costly item onto
the author, we must forgive him.
The book is well organised and broadly follows a chronological path, breaking off when necessary
to discuss any interesting sights on the way. (...)

Stuart Nicholson

PETER BACON on thejazzbreakfast

21. janyuary 2016

 

Subtitled, Norway And The European Jazz Scene, and with an introduction and edited by Fiona Talkington, this is the most informative, the most engaging, the most wide-ranging and the most valuable guide to the very special music that has come out of a very special country in the last 50 years.

Originally published in Italian, it came out in English in October last year – and I attended the launch in Oslo (there is an account of that here) – so I can only apologise for the time it has taken me to write about it here. My excuse – and it’s a good one – is that a few minutes spent with this book leads inevitably to an hour or two with it, interspersed with visits to my own CD collection or to the websites of musicians mentioned, or websites which sell the music that Luca writes about and which I am now dying to hear. The last thing one feels like doing is writing oneself; there is too much reading and listening to do…

(...)

Vitali’s enthusiasm and positive approach which is striking and infectious in person is well conveyed in these pages. Want to find out about Terje Isungset’s ice instruments and ice festival? It’s here. Want to know about the “flat society” that means everyone can get to play with everyone else? That’s here. Want to know about the style of education at Trondheim Conservatory, Yep, it’s here. Want to know more about the Hardanger fiddle tradition and how folk music has influenced jazz? That’s here too.

As Fiona Talkington says in her introduction: “Lica Vitali has gone to Norway not to intrude or take away its musical treasures, but, with humility and respect, to uncover and reveal the riches which are enduring, the creative and human spirit of a seemingly quiet and reserved nation which, actually, has so much to say and so much to give.”

 

Peter Bacon

Johan Hauknes on Salt Peanuts

17. november 2015

 

(...) In total, Luca Vitali has written an excellent book. He shows an impressive lexicographical knowledge about Norwegian jazz, and his points of describing the music are fascinating. He suggests influences and relations that should be headed in future jazz research. Even though Vitali has not delivered the final answers – which is definitely not surprising to Luca Vitali. The book is generally well written and easily read.

In total: It is highly recommended!

 

Text: Johan Hauknes

Stephen Graham on Marlbank

21. october 2015

 

"This new book by Italian writer Luca Vitali is at once a work of advocacy and enthusiasm about Norwegian jazz but also a detailed history and analysis of why this phenomenon happened in the first place.

Vitali traces the evolution via the totemic figure of Jan Garbarek in the first half of the book and then transfers his attention to how contemporary jazz manifests today in the latter part.

He also pinpoints the transformation back to the input of such theorists as George Russell and the impact of the ECM generation of musicians and moves on to explore the club and festival scene and the impact of accommodating folk music and even nature among a range of inspirations.

The book is packed full of detail and exhibits a non-didactic but firm grasp of why and how things happened.

The details of the contemporary scene are probably of most interest to newer jazz fans and there’s examination of a whole spread of music across the spectrum settling on such successes as the Punkt festival but also analysing the legacy of some of the major figures such as Terje Rypdal and Arild Andersen to have made an impact on a new generation of musicians and bands.

Packed full of photos and well annotated and attractively laid-out, the book is a must for anyone interested in Norwegian jazz."

Ian Patterson on AllAboutJazz

21. october 2015

 

"Few know the contemporary Norwegian jazz/creative music scene as well as Italian journalist Vitali, who has criss-crossed the county innumerable times over the past decade or more, attending festivals, concerts and interviewing musicians. This exhaustively researched book falls into two parts: the first and meatiest part chronicles the roots and defining influences that have shaped Norwegian jazz while the second part provides a broad overview of the sprawling, eclectic contemporary music scene and its principal protagonists.(...)
The author examines lucidly how jazz has influenced and been influenced by sami music, contemporary classical music, electronic music and the club scene. As the numerous musical threads interweave in Vitali's narrative and the boundaries between jazz and other forms of contemporary music become less clearly defined one wonders if I Suoni del Nord... might not have been a more apt title for the book.."

 

The Sound of the North

Norway and the European Jazz Scene

by Luca Vitali

edited by Fiona Talkington

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2015 by Luca Vitali