In the past, the members of the Oddgeir Berg Trio have remained in the background, acting as instrumentalists for renowned Scandinavian colleagues. With the release of Before Dawn, things are about to change. Their album instantly ranks as an excitingly different entry into the long list of piano trios. And despite their decades of combined experience, it sounds every bit as fresh and hungry as you’d expect from a debut.
The sound of Before Dawn was sculpted at a very special place, the band’s very own Bonker Studio in Oslo. Entering into this barely 30 square meters small space without windows and secured by a heavy metal door, feels like boarding a submarine. It has given the studio a reputation as one of the most unique recording venues, a sanctuary far away from the worries of everyday life and the pressure of expectations. All that counts here is the music.
It makes perfect sense, when Berg quotes legends such as Keith Jarrett and McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock and EST as influences and inspirations. After all, it is precisely the link between the past and the present, the tension between tradition and progression, which turn the album into such an exciting proposition. Berg, Wisløff and Blomvik may not enjoy standing in the limelight. With material like this, though, they may soon have to get used to it.