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Jazzland Recordings Presents: Sidsel Endresen and Jan Bang

By Tomas Lauvland Pettersen Posted: 17. Apr, 2015

Jazzland Recordings Presents series at Kings Place with grand finale next week: Sidsel Endresen and Jan Bang.

March and April sees Jazzland Recordings, one of Norway’s key independent jazz labels, showcasing its top-tier acts through a series of concerts at London’s Kings Place.

Rounding off a successful concert series that has already seen Mari Kvien Brunvoll and Håkon Kornstad playing well-received Kings Place concerts, will be vocal icon Sidsel Endresen who teams up with Punkt Festival founder, electronic wiz and live-remix master Jan Bang.

The long-standing musical relationship between Sidsel Endresen and Jan Bang has been one of evolution. Each beginning as individual chart-topping artists in various European countries in their own right, they have journeyed further from those roots into more daring, experimental and expressive territories.

The live interaction of Endresen’s unique voice and Bang’s singular mastery of live sampling creates a music that is predictable only in its ability to surprise, cajole, shock and seduce audiences in equal measure. The warmth they project makes them a rare thing: experimentalists that entertain.

Kings Place – improv only

We talked to Sidsel Endresen ahead of her Kings Place concert on what’s in store for 22 April and plans for the remainder of the year.

Sidsel, what can the concert-goers at Kings Place look forward to hearing next week? Is it possible to say how much of the repertoire of the concert will be composed and how much that is created at the spur of a moment?

– The duo interplay with Jan Bang is 100% improvised – everything is created there and then. The two of us have worked together for years now, and have created close musical bonds over time.

Your artistic collaboration with Jan Bang goes back years and encompasses a variety of settings; from the Punkt Festival and its live-remixes to intimate duo settings. Is it possible to put into words how the two of you have mutually inspired each other over these years?

– In my view, Jan is a unique creator and performer with his distinct instrumentarium, a hands-on improviser as well as an inspiring artistic partner. He is blessed with extremely good timing skills, big ears and a great clarity in terms of esthetic choices and form/structure. To add to that, he constantly challenges my vocal role through our concerts.

Jan Bang (photo: Luca Vitali)

From Morton Feldmann to Aretha Franklin

What does inspire you these days? Are there any performers or composers that you would like to shine trail a spotlight on?

– At any given time, what inspires me most is the musicians that I work with, names that spring to mind are (in addition to Jan Bang, of course) Stian Westerhus, Christian Wallumrød, Helge Sten, StreifenJunko, Vilde&Inga, Humcrush and many more.

– My own list of past and present inspirational sources is quite eclectic: Morton Feldmann, Joni Mitchell, Robert Wyatt, Ligeti, Scelsi, Bob Dylan, Billy Holiday, Miles, DeLillos, Nick Drake, Jon Christensen, Aina Kemanis, Anette Peacock, Julie Driscoll, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, the students that I teach at the Norwegian Academy of Music. The list is never-ending and I’ve just highlighted a random fraction of what inspires me today. A question that is impossible to answer, really.

From our standpoint, you have maintained a continuous artistic development over the past decades. You still maintain that development at an impressive level – can you say something about what it is that triggers you to maintain this ongoing process?

– An eternal curiosity, a will to explore and a clear ambition in relation to my instrument. I see all continuous challenges related to improvisation as a way of making music. All I hear is for me potential music – music that I try to approach and apply to my artistic work – it never ends and is never finished.

Stian Westerhus (photo: Luca Vitali)

New trio collab

Are there any countries or territories where you see that your form of expression connects especially well with the local audience?

– It’s very difficult to point to any specific territory or country. I’ve done concerts festivals in most territories over my 36 years on the road – and I see that all concerts are situational contingencies. Germany is always a fabulous country to play in – a magnificent, interested and well-informed audience. However, I’ve also had surprisingly positive experiences in the strangest of countries and experienced real lows in my own country. Basically, there is really no logic here!

What are your own plans for the remainder of the year? What can we look forward to in terms of concerts, releases and other exciting collabs in 2015?

– Currently I’m focusing on duo work with Stian Westerhus as well as with Jan Bang. I’m also devoting much time to my own solo projects. Later this year I’ll head out on an European tour with Endresen/Westerhus duo in March and do a Canada tour in the summer. I’ll also do artistic partnerships with Jan Bang and Erik Honoré as part of Punkt Festival events in Europe. I’m also focusing on a new trio in 2015 – this autumn I’ll tour alongside Vilde Alnæs and Inga M. Aas (better known as Vilde & Inga).


When: Wednesday, 22 April 2015 – 8:00pm
Where: Kings Place – Hall Two


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