Swedish pianist Manus Hjorth is young and modern. He is hip and in tune with the times. And that is how the young virtuoso plays. His is without a doubt one of Scandinavia’s great pianistic talents, and his jazz trio is remarkable for its fresh and vital approach. Acoustic bassist Petter Eldh is a fellow Swede, and Norwegian Snorre Kirk is on drums.
This genuine Scandinavian trio consists of a Swedish pianist and bassist and a Norwegian drummer, based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The original trio’s album is entitled “Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”.
“Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue”, dictates the proverb to young brides-to-be to guarantee a long and happy marriage. This is an old Scandinavian tradition, and in the case of the award winning young Swedish pianist extraordinaire Magnus Hjorth and his trio, the proverb seems to be equally fitting, as the trio delves deep into the very heart of the jazz tradition - learning, adopting and even borrowing from timeless icons such as Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Gershwin and Louis Armstrong, while adding new concepts and musical visions of their own. The common denominator is the ubiquitous and undeniably vital keystone in all forms of real jazz, namely the blues. They are part of the new generation in Danish jazz, which audiences have given a warm welcome.
Although it is true that the trio’s instrumentation is traditional, their approach is far groovier than a Scandinavian piano trio would usually lead you to associate, and the music is more dynamic and extroverted than we have come to expect from the cool North. Their musicianship is so outstanding, that there is no doubt that they will be one of the top Scandinavian trios of the next decade with a string to the young audiences. They know their music, which they demonstrate in effective arrangements of standards and original tunes with sublime playing on all instruments. Petter Eldh with the rich bass sound solos with well chosen notes and rhythmic elasticity, and is a supportive and egging accompanist. Snorre Kirk is a funky drummer, but don’t overlook his vital jazz-feeling.
Magnus Hjorth was born in 1983 in the small town of Laholm in West Sweden. He started on violin and trombone, but it was when he switched to piano at the age of twelve that things really began to get fun. Since graduating from The Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen, he has made the city his home with its vibrant music scene and central geographical location. He is very active in the southern Swedish and Danish music scenes, and apart from his own trio, he works with vocalists Benni Chawes and Malene Mortensen, The Orchestra, trumpeter Thomas Fryland, American saxophonist Bob Rockwell and numerous others. The many constellations have taken him on tours of Europe, Asia and USA. Magnus is also plays the piano in the acclaimed Monday Night Big Band, for which he has arranged as well. In 2007 Magnus participated in the large international Getxo Jazz Contest with the project “People Are Machines”. He not only won the prize for best group, he also was awarded both the judges and the audiences prize for best soloist!
Bassist Petter Eldh was born in 1983 in Gothenburg, Sweden. He started on guitar at the age of eleven, but switched to the bass fiddle three years later. His first musical education was at Uddevalla Music High School (1999-2002). He continued at the Jazz School of Skurup (2002-2004), after which he moved to Copenhagen to study at The Rhythmic Conservatory, where he received his Masters degree in 2009. Like Magnus Hjorth, he is now an integral part of the Copenhagen music scene. He is a regular member of the legendary Django Bates’ trio and bigband Stormchaser. Petter also plays with the young band EXIL, which won the UNG JAZZ (YOUNG JAZZ) award in 2007, with Thomas Agergaard’s Time Span Band and Malene Mortensen Group. Petter’s bass talents have taken him far and wide including Russia, Israel and Thailand.
Snorre Kirk was born and raised in Norway but has resided in Denmark for a number of years. He also chose the Rhythmic Conservatory and the pulsating music life in Copenhagen. His versatile and interpretive talents and his disregard of stylistic boundaries have made him a busy drummer on the Danish scene. His regular bands include the very popular vocalist Malene Mortensen and Mads Kjølby Quartet. His adaptability and unprejudiced approach have led him far and wide.