Albatros: an espresso with Norbert Dalsass and E – volution

March 03, 2020

Like pearls lined up in a necklace

The double bass player Norbert Dalsass has recently released “Albatros”, the new album composed and recorded with his trio E – volution.

> Ivano Rossato

How did the idea behind Albatros come about?

We wanted to take the albatros as a metaphor for our trip. The albatros is the largest flying bird that exists. This fact has given us the opportunity to narrate a journey, a journey common to all of us, the journey of certain phases of our life, the archetype of the journey itself. Already at the start this heavy bird must give all his strength to get up in flight. It doesn’t always do it the first time. Even in life certain departures prove difficult, both because we are still attached to the past, and because we do not put all the necessary energy into them. Here is the first point: the departure, “The Rambler”, the traveler. Then the individual pieces represent cardinal moments of the journey, the goal, the arrival at the top, the return and the arrival.

The individual pieces represent cardinal moments of the journey, the goal, the arrival at the top, the return and the arrival.

What compositional process did you follow?
The narrative idea of ​​the Albatros was born gradually, along the way. With the E-volution trio (Luis Zöschg guitar, Christoph Zöschg percussion drums, Norbert Dalsass bass) we had been trying for two years, following two paths. One by processing the passages that buzzed in our heads, and one by carrying out research on extensive sound fields. With Luis Zöschg we often started performances with artists of figurative art. Thus we discovered on one hand musical nuclei with fairly concrete forms and on the other an element of continuity on which to base the songs. Like pearls lined up in a necklace. The architecture of the work was thus concluded. By opening the CD container you will find the figurative diagram and the trace of the suite. In the studio we hung this pattern that guided us during the recording on the large-format wall. Albatros was recorded as a suite all in a row and we managed to keep the sense of time and duration of the songs in ourselves, playing on the dynamics in real time. So even in the listening phase you perceive, depending on the mood, speed and intensity, at what point of the whole trip we are.
How did you choose the musicians to work alongside the basic trio?
I deliberately tried to involve musicians of different musical backgrounds and cultures in the project. After the first take in the studio someone wrote above the schematic “is this jazz?”. Usually I think of the sounds I hear inside me, the atmospheres that I really like. However, I can only reproduce a part of them with my basic group, the trio. The mood of the guitar trio was too tight for this great flight. Martin Ohrwalder, professor at the Innsbruck conservatory, curator of ensemble music and the school’s big band, was well suited to enriching our trio work with his flugelhorn, trumpet and electronic instruments. Annika Borsetto’s voice touches my heart when she sings, even when she extracts those few notes from her ukulele.
Along the tracks of the album there are a large number of musical genres…
The result of the work does not ask the question of whether or not it manages to fit into a genre. I also paid attention to the product. We also did an LP. The large format allows great breaths, breaths suitable for the big bird. It allows you to take care of the cover, the disc container and even the disc itself. I asked my friend Arno Oehri from Liechtenstein to take care of the graphics. Arno Oehri recently produced the John Abercrombie film for ECM.
Albatros: an espresso with Norbert Dalsass and E – volution copyright Jazzespresso 2020.
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