Ingebrigt Håker Flaten’s Village Songs
Den Signede Dag (Heilo)
Reviewed by Michael Toland, Fri., Jan. 26, 2018
Interpreting Pietist Christian hymns from his home village of Oppdal, Norwegian-born/Austin-based bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten testifies to his heritage on Den Signede Dag ("The Blessed Day"). Doctrinal singer Gunvor Fagerhaug Gustavsen and hardanger fiddle by Andreas Bjørkås form the foundation of these tracks, but Bob Hoffnar's pedal steel on "Jesus Al Min Fryd og Ære" and Joe McPhee's saxophone throughout "Saligheden Er Os Nær" add dreamy atmospherics. Likewise, free-flowing freak-outs from drummer Daniel Dufour, saxist Sterling Steffen, and Flaten's axe-wielding Young Mothers cohort Jonathan F. Horne transform these meditations into rave-ups. The marriage of centuries-old tradition and controlled contemporary chaos spotlights the spirituality inherent in both free jazz and ancient melodies.