Silje's appearances

the year 1994 - May 31.




article in Moss Avis, Thursday June 2. 1994

Translated by Dag Sirnes:

Duke and Domnerus

Tuesday's concert in Moss church ended with Duke Ellington, the composer who more than anyone else has shaped Arne Domnerus as a church musician. The saxophone solo in "Almighty God" alone was worth the ticket price. It became for me the highlight of the department with music from Ellington's ''sacred concerts''.

Østfold Trio started with '' Hymn to the Republic ''. Kåre Vestrheim began with a piano solo where the entire register was used and with chords so "tight" that it was a joy. Ingar Guttormsen on bass and Håkon Paulsberg on drums came, the intensity increased, and in the end it was difficult to sit still on the church pews. No wonder it was "Brown Brown's Body" the northern state soldiers marched to in the American Civil War.

The Civil War concerned several matters. One of them was the question of slavery. If "Tom Brown's Body" was a battle song for the Yankees, it was just as much a freedom song for the blacks. Therefore, it seemed very logical when the musicians continued with Oscar Peterson's ''Hymn to Freedom'', now with Domnerus on the team.

Arne Domnerus is a fantastic musician, whether he plays saxophone or clarinet. He improvises seemingly completely effortlessly, and in such a way that the melody line is never lost. He can afford to play simply, without a superfluous tone, when it is natural. In other contexts, he uses his enormous technique in races and forwards that make the music new and exciting. Underneath it all lies the "swing" itself, which for many of us is the hallmark of jazz.

There is also reason to give Østfold Trio all possible credit. Vestrheim impressed as a pianist. The solo in "Hymn to the Republic" has already been mentioned. Another highlight was the conclusion of Nils Ferlin's "Not even a gray little bird", where clarinet and piano fused in an incredibly beautiful synthesis. Vestrheim also played some of the songs on his digital synthesizer, with organ sounds that created a suggestive effect.

Guttormsen and Paulsberg fit nicely into the whole, both in the interaction and with several good individual performances. They thereby confirmed the impression that Norwegian jazz musicians maintain a very high level.

The greatest curiosity was probably related to the vocalist, Silje Nergaard. She seemed a little hesitant, almost a little anxious, at first. Nevertheless, the seemingly young voice carried the message in hymns such as "The Church is an old house" in a breathtaking way. She made the audience really listen.

In two religious folk tunes, the events were exquisite, not least in ''Mitt hjerte vanker'' (My heart wanders), where voice and instruments gradually built up to a dynamic climax, and then calmed it all down again.

After singing in Norwegian and Swedish, Silje Nergaard switched to English-language songs. Here she showed a much larger, dynamic register and sang with proper "punch". Ellington's "Almighty God" was sung unusually fast, but absolutely convincing.

All in all, Silje Nergaard made a very nice impression. She wants something with the music and has a distinctive charisma. Her sense of rhythm is at its peak, and her voice has significant resources when she lets go.

Erik F. Steen (text)
Jon-Ivar Fjeld (photo)

Small picture: Silje Nergaard made a very sympathetic impression.
Big picture: The saxophone solo by Arne Domnerus in "Almighty God" was alone worth the ticket price.