2001 - March 31.
Article in Oppland Arbeiderblad, Friday March 30. 2001
Translation by Dag Sirnes:
Musical meeting in Fjellhaven [The Cavern Garden]
Østre Toten Big Band has put themselves in the saddle before Saturday's concert in Fjellhaven. Silje Nergaard comes to visit with a band. "We are looking forward," the Hamar girl can tell us before Saturday's musical meeting.
''We have rehearsed a lot and used the time to bring in new songs. Something is hefty things, you have to take some chances,'' says Østre Toten Storband's leader Arne Bilden.
The big band plans to present many soloists in three parts, first Østre Toten Stor-band, then Silje with the big band and then Silje Nergaard has a section with her own band.
Østre Toten Big Band has put together a varied program, including some Latin and swing music. The big band has arranged a couple of songs from Silje's latest album which will be performed in collaboration with the Hamar girl.
''We'll play Immigrant Tango by Hector Bingert. It will be a fun feature, a little different, but it will be part of the old repertoire as well'', promises Bilden.
Silje Nergaard uses the Gjøvik concert as well as a small warm-up. She is going on a European tour from Tuesday. In 11 days she will do the same number of concerts. We can mention: Austria, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and England. In Gjøvik's suitcase, Silje brings with her some new song material in addition to the latest album, Port of Call.
''There will be a new CD this autumn. The record is half recorded'', Silje reveals on the phone.
She can promise a lot of jazz on Saturday night, almost all based on her own compositions. The jazz singer has become a respected and sought-after songwriter, who also writes for other artists.
In Silje's own band we find Tord Gustavsen on piano, Harald Johansen on bass and Jarle Vespestad on drums. We can only rejoice. Arne Bilden and the big band hope for a full house. Silje Nergaard is more careful.
"I hope my aunt and uncle in Gjøvik come and listen!"
Text: Torbjørn Aurvåg and Per Øyvind Skjønberg
Picture in the middle:
Hard training: Østre Toten Big Band has rehearsed a lot and used the time to bring in new songs before Saturday's concert in Fjellhaven.
Picture to the right:
Current: Silje Nergaard is relevant like never before. Next week she is going on a European tour. In the autumn she will come with a new CD. But first it is Gjøvik and a concert with Østre Toten Big Band that is next.
Article in Oppland Arbeiderblad, Monday April 2. 2001
Translation by Dag Sirnes:
Spellbound by the woman
''It's fun to perform with so many men'', smiles Silje Nergaard. Her sensual and pleasant appearance melted the hearts of both Østre Toten Storband and the male part of the audience. And while the declarations of love hailed, the jazz musicians broke new boundaries.
SILJE NERGAARD BAND AND ØSTRE TOTEN STORBAND
Audience : ca. 200
Stylishly dressed in white shirts and solid-colored, dark suits, Østre Toten Storband let the powerful big-band jazz flood through Fjellhaven.
If you closed your eyes, it was not difficult to dream back to the American jazz bars of the fifties, even though the concert cave inside Gjøvik's underground is a bit larger and not correspondingly intimate.
The cinematic associations were further strengthened when the female front figure grabbed the microphone. Slightly modest, but with great sensuality, she whispered the creeping songs, and the audience was spellbound by the first stanza.
The big band had been given the task of both initiating and rounding off Saturday's concert, and the Toten musicians showed that you did not have to travel far to find great musical professionalism. Led by conductor Arne Bilden, they kept up with a wide and wide-ranging jazz repertoire. There was room for minimalist guitar and piano tones, but the soundscape was mainly dominated by a strong pressure from the winds section.
The band's routine is undoubtedly very large, and many of the musicians have performed for a number of years. Nevertheless, the splashing spark was still present, which was proven through a series of playful solo parts.
After the big band had played a couple of melodies, Silje Nergaard snuck up on stage. The Hamar girl sporadically participated in the first section of the concert, but after the break she completely controlled the performance. Nergaard has an exceptionally beautiful and catchy voice. It is sometimes a pure pleasure to listen when she shows off her vocal range, from low-pitched whisper to loud and bell-clear falsetto. In addition, she has great charisma and a warm and pleasant stage performance, where the charm dazzled those present.
The song material is largely taken from her latest album ''Port of Call''. Although Nergaard with this release took the step back to the jazz roots, some of the melodies show that she still has not forgotten her skills as a pop composer. For the beautiful and calm ballads, as much space was devoted as the more experimental jazz.
Although Silje Nergaard is the natural front figure, she is far from alone in the band. Jarle Vespestad's drumsticks rotated like propellers, and the violent, extravagant energy contributed to him having to throw away his shirt. Otherwise, Harald Johnsen lovingly strummed the double bass, while Tord Gustavsen conjured up the most beautiful notes from the piano. Although all the musicians are of the highest class, the pianist, well deserved, got the biggest applause.
The band travels on a European tour on Tuesday, and Saturday's concert was a very promising warm-up. Whether Silje Nergaard leaves as many lost hearts in each city she visits is uncertain. But there is no doubt that many longing souls are now looking over Lake Mjøsa, with a tearful hope to hear the jazz singer's caressing voice again.
Dag A. Sangnes
Photos (top to bottom):
1 Charming: Silje Nergaard has a very winning stage personality. In addition, she shone with a rarely good jazz voice.
2 Skilled: Østre Toten Storband served the audience a number of powerful tastings from the broad jazz repertoire. In the last department, they also received help from guest vocalist Turid Nikolaisen.
3 Masterful: Tord Gustavsen was a magician with the keys.