Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer probably wasn’t inspired by the sarcastic suggestion, made by Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly character in The Devil Wears Prada, to “move at a glacial pace.” Nonetheless, that is exactly the effect he accomplishes with his latest meditative effort, Baboon Moon. “Blue Fandango,” for example, consists largely of Molvaer’s muted trumpet playing over a bleak musical background cthat’s mostly a singing saw. Critics have long classified Molvaer’s music as jazz, but that simplistic description does him and his art a disservice. The fusion sensibilities of Miles Davis crossed with the scattered Scandinavian beats of Bjork, enhanced by hearty helpings of zenned-out monochord keyboard and distorted guitar would, perhaps, be closer—even if the results are far more pleasant than that description would suggest. Molvaer’s latest effort may not mix those ingredients as successfully as earlier albums Streamer and Solid Ether. But for those craving his unique blend of distorted jazz and ambient techno, Baboon Moon will more than suffice.
(Originally appeared in The Valley Advocate.)