Selected press quotes

”…this album´s not just a wall of one, two, three go! Blare; there´s a real subtlety here, with exploration of small melodic cells creating genuine suspense. In improvised music, making people wonder what´s happen next rather than how much longer is a real achievement”.
The Wire – Julian Cowley,

“Snekkestad, Guy and Fernández are masters of the art free-improvisation, free and highly creative spirits who refuse to subscribe to binding musical legacies, genres or styles….The communication between these highly creative masters is super fast but remarkably deep. The music moves and explores simultaneously different dimensions – surprising and innovative sounds, singular extended techniques and fascinating textures” – Eyal Hareuveni

“Three musicians who have a really great way of improvising together – sounds that almost make you feel like one player tripped, and the other two decided to follow – falling through sonic space with all these happy accidents in music – yet somehow making complete sense as they move along the course of the album! ” Dusty Groove

All three musicians manage to create an independent and expressive melody line, bright dynamic rhythmic line, gorgeous background and innovative instrumentation. Their music is surprising and driving, a mix of modern and experimental jazz styles gently brought together. Avantscena

The Wire

Conic Folded is a fully formed collection of saxophone and improvisational mastery

Right from the start, the trio plays with that graceful, spacious, sublime delicacy. Using a minimum of notes, the trio is able to stretch out and use the space between the notes with careful precision.

Downtown Music Gallery

Når den norsk-danske saksofonisten og klarinettisten Torben Snekkestad endeleg kjem med sitt eige jazzalbum, er resultatet ei utgjeving av verkeleg sjeldant format.«Conic Folded» er noko av det mest spennande i sjangeren eg ville ha kalla «ny musikk» om merkelappen ikkje var brukt opp… Å vere eller ei er spørsmålet, sa Hamlet. Denne musikken er.

Saxofonist maler med lyden. Den norske musiker Torben Snekkestads album efterlader et lyst og luftigt indtryk. Musikken er intim og foregår i eftertankens langsomme tempo, men med følehornene pegende fremad.

Im abschließenden Saxophon-Solo zeigt Torben Snekkestad alle Eleganz seines Tones, der hier mitgroßer poetischer Kraft einen Klageruf anstimmt, der bis in die Tiefen dieses Instruments führt. Ein starkes Album!

Om man skalar av attributen kring Snekkestads musik landar man till sist i koncentration. Med en ganska sparsam palett blir det spelade så mycket viktigare. Denna trio försöker inte gömma sig bakom larm och expressionism. De sparar ändå inte på energin, det ärlika laddat som vore det dundrande frifräs. Varje tillslag är istället innehållsrikt och viktigt, och musiken blir ett koncentrat av trions idéer.

Meget sterk plate…… Det første som møter lytteren, er Snekkestads velutviklede og kontrollerte lyd iinstrumentet. Full av varme i ethvert register, og med store klangvariasjoner. Dette vitner om en klassisk skolert musiker. Men, selv om så er tilfelle, her skotter det ikke på improvisatoriske ferdigheter. Både Westergaard og Balke presterer ypperlig, og trioen klinger sjeldent godt sammen, både i tekstur og samspill.

With his first effort, Torben Snekkestad has created a somewhat minimal record, where each sound is used in its most critical form, but far from being obscure or unapproachable, Conic Folded is actually a wonderfully poetic and evocative record

The Spartan daintiness of Conic Folded definitely contributes to a great beginning of 2009 as far as trios are concerned. Torben Snekkestad’s art is for real, and this is a superb debut.”

In the presence of pianist Jon Balke and bassist Jonas Westergaard, Norwegian saxophonist Torben Snekkestad releases his first album, and not of the kind that you would expect from a debut. The reason is clear : you rarely have debut albums that bring a voice so fully formed, and with a musical vision that is so focused and unique.

Snekkestad and his many voices are heard here, and they deserve a lot of uninterrupted attention. The detail of his work on this is really astonishing.

Torben Snekkestad beperkt zich op ‘Conic Folded’ niet tot het kopiëren van een meer dan veertig jaar oude formule. Hij gaat integendeel nog een stapje verder en weet door middel van experiment en groepsimprovisatienkele verbluffende resultaten te bereiken

En strålende ettertanke … Noe av det som har fengslet meg mest med Snekkestads debutplate er hvordan musikerne lar musikken puste, de lar pausen få sitt spillerom. Det mest effektfulle er ofte det øyeblikket hvor stillheten råder, og slike øyeblikk finnes det heldigvis mange av på Conic Folded.

The meeting of three extremely talented and respected musicians in their own right, The Living Room is a breathtaking formation with a particularly developed taste for complex avant-gardist jazz… All three members of The Living Room can boast of very impressive and eclectic work, but this project is undoubtedly at the more exploratory end of their respective scope. Complex, abstract and challenging Still Distant Still remains surprisingly evocative and accessible, a strong testament to the combined level of talent and musicianship collected here

… The Living Room create something completely unique. All the 8 track are collectively created, and to my ears more moods than tunes. These are three men with a violent instrument control and depth in both the personal and collective expressions. They are listeners of a special caliber that lets the music bring itself – and us – to the unexpected places. The music is beautiful, ugly, fascinating, imaginative, exciting and totally unpredictable – as life itself. The Living Room has something very special to offer – you will not believe it until you’ve heard it!

Precious, spacious, expressive and minimal. All the best words to describe this latest experimental trio from Norway featuring Torben Snekkestad, Thomas Stronen and Soren Kjaergaard as The Living Room. Their debut, Still Distant Still, was built out of a number of live performances and in the studio that energy is just as intense and beautiful. Like its title, the album is filled with space that holds you in place but displays a freedom and unique curiosity of performance that leaves you wondering what note will be played next. “Tremelo Hiving” quietly moves along with long breathy squeals by Snekkestad and crackling improvised tones by both Kjaergaard and Stronen. On “Still Distant Still,” the trio execute a fine pattern of improvised notes led by Snekkestad and rolling divergent notes by Kjaergaard. Snekkestad stretches the air in the middle of the piece while Kjaergaard and Stronen add a layer of haunting effects over the top of notes. “Rainbow Stomp” is the dark, loud polar opposite to “Still Distant Still.” It’s builds viciously from the start, an intense discordant exchange between all members sets the path for this number. The space is consumed by tweaks, squeals, crackles, muted manipulations and pulses that all form a beautiful cacophony that carries out to it’s ending. Still Distant Still is a powerful debut from three well known and prolific improvisers that demands you seeking it out. Highly Recommended.

Stephan Moore, Downtown Music Gallery

In an excellent set that, in some ways, struck a loose parallel with the Lateef gig, the musicians essentially played sound rather than composition, or rather they shaped composition by extreme responsiveness to the slightest flash of timbre or melodicfragment each other produced. With both Stronen and Kjaergaard treating their sounds withelectronics and Snekkstad deploying a lump of circular metaland a bow, the music had astrange, constant hiss, a kind of afterglow that created a vividatmosphere, one that was as seductive and hypnotic as it was charged and eerie.

Kevin Le Gendre/ Jazzwise magazine (on The Living Room – Copenhagen Jazzfestival 2009)

Take the Barry Guy and Torben Snekkestad Duo, which performed on Wednesday afternoon in the State Sessions series at the Statens Museum for Kunst, Denmark’s national art gallery. Saxophonist Snekkestad has obviously studied his John Zorn (as have apparently many of Denmark’s musicians – Zorn is probably the single most underrated influence on young jazz players around the world), as Snekkestad played the entirety of his instrument, make it snap, crackle and pop with whistles, honks, trills and the mere sound of breath, along with the more conventional musical tones that musicians are taught to play on their instrument.

In combination with Barry Guy, the director and founder of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and a phenomenal bass soloist and improviser, Snekkestad was an expressive player, going from free noise to passages of intense lyricism and soul, even venturing into Sonny Rollins-on-the-bridge territory at times. His was an expressionistic style that didn’t rely on intellectualism to get its point across – Snekkestad’s playing was imbued with feeling and emotion, and spoke directly to the heart.

The Rogovoy Report

Eivind Buenes ”Death and Entrances” udfoldede i øvrigt talende spændingsfelt mellom den fremdragende solist Torben Snekkestads (også som medlem af Dansk Saxofonkvartet) rablende virtuose spil og ensemblets øvrige medlemmer

Berlingske Tiderne / Ursula Andkjær (on Concert with Athelas Sinfonietta w/ soloist Torben Snekkestad at Sorte Diamant)

Lars Graugaards First Book of Changes præsenterede en velforberedt og teknisk overordentligt velspillende Torben Snekkestad på sopransax i en ethundrede procent frit opfundet solosremme, der, sådan som Snekkestad greb det an, tog omhyggelig udgangspunkt i komponistens kompakte aggresive instrumentalsats

Politiken (on Concert with Århus Sinfonietta w/ soloist Torben Snekkestad)

Med et smukt bidrag fra sopransaxofonisten Torben Snekkestad, som i øvrigt aften igennom gang på gang facinerede med sit fornemt-klingende spil. … et eminent emotionelt melodispil fra Snekkestad.

Berlingske Tiderne / Kjeld Frandsen (on Concert with CSQ and Thomas Clausen (Copenhagen Jazzhouse))

The Copenhagen Saxophone Quartet brought a remarkably varied program of music to the Cocoran Gallery Sunday, and played it with style, energi and sensitivity.”

Washington Post/Joan Reinthaler

Precis som Anders Banke så har han (TS) ett öppet förhållningssätt till sitt spel och sina instrument. Speciellt hans sopransax låter ovanligt djup och njutbar I tonen

Orkesterjournalen, Sverige

Tri O`Trang gir ekstranumre som rommer alle de sterke elementene de har forført oss med, slik bare kammerherrer med spennvidde kan gjøre det. Jeg har sjelden gått fra Blå med en så lett følelse i kroppen.

Aftenposten / Arild Andersen

The same undemonstrative, intelligently qualified fidelity is evident in Torben Snekkestad’s arrangements from Alessandro Scarlatti. Some of the individual movements here, such as the central grave of the second Concerto Grosso are altogether exquisite – these arrangements are not merely parasitic, they throw new light on the originals, they are works which evidence both originality and respect.

MUSICWEB (on CSQ – Italian Baroque CD)

… an exceptionally enlightened treat in the manners of baroque interpretation. For, far from guiding me down a heretic’s path in the vagaries of ancient music, this one proved, if not definitively then at least convincingly, that the essence of any music, regardless of period, lies in the communicative ability of the performers at hand, not in the “authenticity” of presentation. If I could play this for any of our readers–without telling them that there are saxophones involved–a large percentage would be too caught up in the stylish, excellent manner of presentation before they realized that Scarlatti’s essence had been penetrated by modern metal behemoths. … Copenhagen Quartet executes its part with dressed-up baroque sensibilities and an unerring feel for the music. The sound is smooth and soft. If you love Scarlatti, don’t hesitate.

American Record Guide (on CSQ – Italian Baroque CD)

One of the most beautiful pieces here is “Noodles or Icecream, Sir?,” alternating between Snekkestad and Banke’s almost ethereal unison lines—which briefly quote Thelonious Monk’s “Ask Me Now”—and the evocative bass of Westergaard. The longest track on this relatively short release is “Superyatzy,” which begins as hesitant improvisation featuring a short Westergaard solo, evolves into a spare solo from Bruun, followed by Banke on clarinet and Snekkestad, who continue their kind of fragmented conversation. The track culminates in a united collective improvisation that fully demonstrates the power of this quartet.

All About Jazz (on Spring debut album)

Danmarks tre betydeligste ældre komponister- tænkt og fortolket som en kras sanselig nydelse. Opførelsene er klangskønne fornemt formede og artikulerede og fulde af intensitet og finesse. En helt igennom fremdragende cd.

Jan Jakoby / Politiken (on Dansk Saxofon Kvartet – Contemporary Works II)

This is expertly played by Snekkestad! Adventurous music! Not a dull moment!

Ingvar Nordin / Sonoloco (on Oslo Sinfonietta CD ”Faces” w/ Snekkestad as soloist)

Dissonanzen, sperrigen Kontrasten und Extravaganz nichts zu wünschen übrig lassen. Wenn man in Stimmung für Abseitiges ist und beispielsweise The Thing mag, genau das Richtige. »Musik ist nicht Stil, sondern Ausdruck.« wird Ornette Coleman im kurzen Beitext der CD zitiert. Angemessener könnte man auf diese komplexe Platte nicht neugierig machen, denn wie Coleman sind sich Spring Jazztraditionen ebenso bewusst wie sie sie hingebungsvoll aufspalten

Nordische Musik (on Spring ”Slides” CD)