Saxophonist and composer Karl Seglem has done much to highlight the evolving strengths of music which, essentially, is deeply poetic in nature.
New North is some of the freshest, finest music of their time, with Seglem’s warmly resonant tenor sound and spacious, folk-inflected yet jazz-fuelled phrasing set within textures and arrangements as meditative as they are urgent - and distinguished by striking contributions from such creative compatriots of Seglem as vocalists Berit Opheim and Odd Nordstoga, keyboardist Reidar Skår, Hardanger fiddler Håkon Høgemo, guitarist Morten Sæle and trumpet player Nils Petter Molvaer - to mention a few.
New North is both a consolidation and an expansion of Seglem’s multi-layered yet translucent approach. Here are skirling wildness and lullaby tenderness, joyous heights and troll-like depths; moon-struck dreams and solar lucidity, existential introspection and archetypal, stomping affirmation - the whole united in an aesthetic as rich in the spirit of poetry as it is in that of dance.
Like the great Norwegian writer Tarjei Vesaas, Karl Seglem is able to create a world as concrete, or tangible, in sensuous detail as it is abstract, or expansive, in poetic or reverie-rich overtone. Like Vesaas again, Seglem is a rooted cosmopolitan, one hand set firmly on a lichen-covered boulder, the other raised high to that shape-shifting sky which enfolds both the most urban and the most rural of realms. And like an early elective affinity of his, Jan Garbarek - that great Norwegian singer of what Lorca called the “deep song” of life - Karl Seglem is a musician, a poet, who can help us inhabit, and perhaps even revision, the simplest yet most profound dimensions of our lives. Listen to "New North"
Michael Tucker (UK) Professor of Poetics, University of Brighton; Reviewer, Jazz Journal International; Author, Jan Garbarek: Deep Song (University of Hull Press 1998)