Posts Tagged ‘Free Improvisation’

With the release date of “Flora Eallin”, the upcoming album from Experimental Duo LEAGUS set for the 28 April, Is it Jazz? Records have today released a new single from the album. 

The track, titled “Tendril” can be streamed or downloaded from various services at

LEAGUS had this to say about the track:

Tendril is a curly stem that some plants produce for support and climbing. The song is the fourth track of the “Flora Eallin” album, and introduces two vocalists. The lyrics concern collective and individual responsibility, and different aspects of the climate crises we have been facing for generations. Lyrics are by Frode Larsen.

When pianist Herborg Rundberg first formed LEAGUS in 2013 it was simply part of her Masters degree in Rhythmic Music at the Tromsø Conservatory. However when she was joined by guitarist Kristian Svalestad Olstad, who had himself received his Masters degree in the same subject two years earlier, LEAGUS became a fully fledged contemporary and experimental music duo.

Herborg’s Sami background, and her work with traditional and classical music, along with Kristian´s extended use of guitar and electronics,  forms the basis of LEAGUS’ sound, which has, over time, developed into an exploratory and complex sonic universe.   As for the name LEAGUS, the word itself originates in the area in which Herborg herself was born and is Sami slang for asking for something. 

Having  worked extensively on finding new, and different,  interactions between the  piano and the guitar, LEAGUS were able to develop a new and progressive kind of musical togetherness, creating  a highly dynamic sound in which musical contrasts play a big part in the overall concept.

 Alternating  between formal composed parts, open structures and free improvisation that at times feel like subdued, minimalistic psalm-like pieces, whilst at other times features more rock-oriented improvised parts, LEAGUS released two albums, and were then approached by the NORTH NORWEGIAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE, who, in 2021 commissioned them to write a piece for the ten piece orchestra.

This resulted in  Herborg and Kristian composing and arranging the piece “Flora Eallin”, which will be released in full on Is it Jazz? Records in CD, Digital and Double LP formats.

Featuring  the  NORTH NORWEGIAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE and with cover art and design by Martin Losvik, track listing for “Flora Eallin”, is as follows:

1. Kime
2. Flor
3. Vann
4. Tendril
5. Nihkui
6. Vind
7. Pripyat
8. Geo
9. Mykorrhyza
10. Eallin
11. Sol
12. Hyperion

“Flora Eallin” is now available to pre-order from:

On stage the duo are known for their energetic and visual concerts, and will be celebrating the release of “Flora Eallin” live at the Jazzahead Clubnight at the Achat Hotel in Bremen, Germany on the 28th April. 

Details of the event and booking info can be found at 

More  information about LEAGUS can be found on the band’s Facebook page at or on their website at

A video of LEAGUS performing the track “Hyperion” directed by Norwegian photographer and artist Martin Losvik, and featuring the NORTH NORWEGIAN JAZZ ENSEMBLE, can be seen below and at

Losvik  is well known for his distinctive style that can contain elements of humour, surrealism and darkness. The  video is the result of Martin being given free hands to do his visual interpretation of this musical project. 

Additional Information:
Promo and other information:
Band Contact & Booking:

Having recently announced the details of label’s first ever release (from Jazz Prog Rockers SOFT FFOG), Is it Jazz? Records have today revealed more about DATADYR, the band destined to produce the label’s second release, which will be available on the 10th June.

Based in Bergen, Norway, DATADYR is a trio of musicians who are all graduates of the Grieg Academy,  where their jazz studies provided the inspiration for their music, which can be characterized by its use of traditional jazz, newer directions in jazz and musical improvisations.

All three have considerable experience with other bands and projects. Bassist Øystein Høynes, for instance, has deep-dived into both American and Scandinavian Jazz, something that can be heard in DATADYR’s music.  He likes to explore the differences in genres and mix them up, and his playing is “groovy and playful”, with a desire to drive the music forward.  Already a well-known figure on the Scandinavian Jazz scene, Høynes has played on albums by the FINNSETH TRIO, HERKULES and ATARI, and is currently playing with ATARI, TARA MARTINE, TREVERKET, and HVO.

During his time at the Grieg Academy drummer Amund Nordstrøm turned his focus towards jazz, free jazz and free improvisation. With a style that is energetic, playful and which pays great attention to tone and texture, it is somewhat extremist but nevertheless displays a controlled musical direction, with  clear references to older American and Scandinavian jazz. In a short time Nordstrøm has succeeded in making a name for himself on the music scene in Bergen. He has played a number of concerts in both Norway and Europe and released albums with AVIAN ART, THOMAS LOSSIUS SEPTETT and GUNSLINGING BIRD, with more in the works with bands such as DATADYR, CORT PIIL, MØ: SAN, DUMBO CASINO and SHAKAI.

Guitarist Odd Erlend Mikkelsen has, for several years, been involved in the Rock and Metal scene with bands like DREAMARCHER and KRYPTOGRAF. However, during the last four years he studied Jazz at the Grieg Academy, exploring improvisation. Through his studies he has developed a sound that combines the energy and abrasiveness of classic rock guitar playing, with the harmonic and rhythmic ideas derived from modern jazz.

Having used their experience and their studies to hone their musical skills and develop their distinctive sound – which ranges from the heartfelt and gentle to the energetic and explosive, DATADYR are now ready with their debut full-length album “Woolgathering”, about which the band had this to say:

It’s great to finally release our album on Is it Jazz? Records! There hasn’t been a proper label for jazz/improvised music in Bergen for a while now so Is it Jazz? Records came along at just the right time for us.

“Woolgathering” is a collection of our favourite songs which were written early on in DATADYR’s career. Some of them go all the way back to 2018. while some of them are more recent. It’s a good mix of all our influences as a band and as individual musicians. “Woolgathering” means to daydream, to gather your thoughts – a fitting title in our opinion. 

Further details about “Woolgathering” will be released in due course, and more information about DATADYR  can be found on the band’s Facebook page at