Mette Henriette album




Mette resNorwegian saxophonist Mette Henriette may well be a fan of the Necks. The sort of minimalism she espouses on this double album certainly carries overlaps with their particular brand of minimalist sonic necromancy, although the differences are just as significant. Most obviously Henriette eschews long improvisations in favour of short compositions, nearly half of which last less than two minutes. Therefore any improvising must be concise and primarily about maintaining a given piece’s stark, ghostly or ominous ambience, while casting a halo of enigma.

On the first disc it is often as though her tenor saxophone is being blown on a cold day, so you hear little more than a cloud of steamy breath rising from the bell, and her collaborators, pianist Johan Lindvall and cellist Katrine Schiott, are equally as restrained. By contrast the 20 pieces on the second disc are scored for 13 players (including brass, strings, bandoneon and rhythm section), and while the same sparse aesthetic sometimes applies, elsewhere the music erupts into massive density, and Henriette unleashes scalding tenor solos.