The whole session exudes confidence.The trio´s level of integration far outstrips its existence as an entity, telepathically divining when to drive towards critical mass and when to allow space into the proceedings. And the scope of their improvisational ideas is breathtaking. To be able to both listen and react at this level of intensity is a rare gift. Quite simply, this is joyous music, with a spirit very much akin to The Mahavishnu Orchestra´s "The Inner Mounting Flame". What the trio will be capable of when they have had time to draw breath is a truly exciting prospect.
The Wire (UK)
That Raoul Björkenheim belongs with the very best of guitarists, is old news. That it should be the Norwegian brotherhood of rhythm that should get the best out of him, now seems kind of predestined. Björkenheim is beyond technical and empty illusionist playing and creates dark epics with plenty of substance. Flaten´s bass playing points back to the healthy parts of seventies progressive jazz, to the good times before it became a sport. Nilssen-Love is eruptive, keen and devoted and at their best they sound unrivalled. They have caught a tradition that very few have the capacity to renew, and have given it wings. 6/6.
Raoul Björkenheim is a guitar wizard and with bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love he stirs a very powerful magic potion. A musical mix where free improvisation, experimental rock, jazzrock and free jazz are some of the ingrediences. 6/6.
Traces from Hendrix as well as Sonic Youth. Listen to "Säde" you pay a visit to New York´s avantgarde rockscene. But this is no copy of yesterdays kings, this trio stand firmly on their own feet. The groove is impressive, it really hits you, and rhytmically it´s perfect. They are never temptet to become inwardlooking or selfcentered. It´s a very open record that invites you into an exciting musical world.
Björkenheim, like his Norwegian friends, has a very open approach when it comes to making music. It´s not diffficult to hear that he has his roots in both Hendrix and Zappa on one hand, and Coltrane, Miles and Mingus on the other. But he uses these, and other sources, to express himself in a totally unique way, one moment being highly melodic and groovy, then shifting to more aggresive and challenging moods.
What immediately hits you about the music of the Scorch Trio is their raw intensity and singularity of purpose. Guitarist Björkenheim brings a passion for Jimi Hendrix, John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman to this guitarist trio format. Backing Björkenheim is one of the hottest rythm sections in jazz today. As displayed here, their energy is apparently unlimited. Björkenheim conjures the spirit of Sonny Sharrock´s search and destroy sound on the 13-minute opening track as Nilssen-Love plays at a frenzied pace. From there the pace rarely slows. They hammer through "Taalus" and the odessey of nearly twelve minutes of "XXX". Björkenheim is in full control of his guitar effects be they the eerie atmospheric ambiance heard on "Vittula" or the James Ulmer blues of "Salaa", perhaps the highlight of this session.
All About Jazz (US)
Another classic from Rune Grammofon. An exceptional record by three fantastic musicians. On "Saala" Håker Flatens repeating and developing riff and Nilssen-Loves swinging time makes a perfect groove that could go on for ever without ever becoming boring. A height both in Rune Grammofon´s incredible catalogue as well as in the musicians many sided careers. You have to hear it!
A red-hot power-house of a CD, absolutely bursting with passion and energy. The music is highly charged, and at times ferociously delivered, yet keeping well away from the white noise cop out of some bands. You´ll not find a more passionate album for a long while, but handle with care these boys are hot.
Straight No Chaser (UK)
The extraordinary thing about this record is the mix of variety and focus. Björkenheim uses his guitar in a melodic, percussive and textural way, going from a deconstructed Larry Coryell to an absurd country-Frisell, a scary Holdsworth or simply a mental R2-D2. But while doing all this he manages, as the composer he truly is, to treat the material in an interesting way. He lets the elements breathe and develop and float down the river that is Flaten and Nilssen-Love. And what a ride it is.
The music is incredibly energetic and complex, demonstrating a perfect understanding and respect of each other´s role. While Björkenheim is the most experienced of the three, he doesn´t hesitate one moment to let his rhythmic session take the lead and set up the pace before applying his expertise. This results in a perfectly balanced yet powerful and assertive performance. The trio generate some amazing moments, touching a wide range of genres, from free improvisations to experimental rock, takes the listener to the forefront of jazz experimentation while remaining accessible.
The Milk Factory (UK)
Björkenheim turns his solos inside out, twisting into strange shapes, switching pitches and apeing the sound of hammered metal tubing. This is the power trio genre goaded into its most savage expression yet.
A most remarkable album and one to put the cause of guitar fusion light years ahead of most competitors in the field.
CD Services (UK)
One mighty headfuck of an album.
Silver Juice (UK)
The wide assortment of riffs, rhythms and textures give the listener more than enough to chew on, and be captivated by. The Scorch Trio provides music that is alternately experimental and hardcore and quite often both. It´s a highly satisfying combination.
Scorch Trio certainly inhabit the same freewheeling planes as Ornette Coleman inspired fusionists Sonny Sharrock and Blood Ulmer. Raw, bluesy and infused with freespirited improvisation, their music is a thrill. As the album unfolds, the players explore a wide range of moods, textures and connections, with every track holding
a different appeal.
This is some of the most exciting and abrasive trio playing released this year and is a noticeable addition to the work of all three players. If ever the term "power trio" needed a definition then this is where you´d find it.
World Music Portal (UK)