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Albumcover for plata Var av Kristin Skaare

Falling in love with a simple melody only happens once in a while. As in the opening of Miles Davis' "Kind of blue" album. On Kristin Skaare's new album, it is the first in the opening hymn "Jag kan icke rakna dem alla" that sets me off. It is almost impossible to find more beautiful piano playing, perhaps with the exception of the occasional "twist" from Keith Jarrett's "The Køln Concert".


Together with the always outstanding bassist Bjørn Kjellemyr and an always rattling Jon Christensen, they make the Swedish hymn a pure pleasure - also for us who are not so concerned with God and the things there. And so it goes on. The famous "Det er makt i de foldede hender" ("There is power in the folded hands") is treated in the Jarrett way, with a lot of improvisation and "play" with the beautiful melody, before Skaare's own "Meditasjon" ("Meditation") takes over.

A piece of solo piano that floats so beautifully and easily that it is impossible not to fall head over heels in love. Skaare borrowed Kulturkirken Jackob (The cultural church Jacob) all of July in 2000, and at that time "Meditation" was added, and I would give a lot to sit alone in the dimly lit church room to hear this incredibly beautiful and simple composition. Kristin Skaare must be a good person who writes such music! Egil Hovland then contributes with his "Sakrale virvler" ("Sacred Swirls"). Here it is put together with a French missile from the 16th century; "Veni, veni, Emmnuel", and it's so beautiful, so beautiful. "Skaarungen" is another Skaare composition that is almost as simple in form as "Meditasjon" ("Meditation") and almost as beautifully composed. Sometimes I wonder how in the world it is possible to put together several notes as beautiful as some, selected pianists manage.

The lyrics in the cover of "Skaarungen" are as follows; "Skaarungen var et undrende barn" ("Skaarungen was a wondering child"). It can hardly be said simpler and more precise. According to the composer, the composition "Varsom" is a hymn that is as much related to the Elvis song "I can't help falling in love with you" as "O bli hos meg" and the combination works perfectly. Blessed "Aage Samuelsen goes jazz" must be a new style of jazz, which no one could dream of while Broder Aage was among us. Kristin Skaare brings out the accordion here and makes a beautiful, South American version of "Å Jesus du som fyller alt i alle" together with Kjellemyr and Dalen. A nice break in the album and which in a way is necessary to keep the listener through all the beauty. "Leid milde ljos" is done with Kjellemyr and Christensen where all three contribute with exceptionally delicious music. Kjellemyr's incredibly large ears and ability to listen to those around him are unique, and Christensen must be here in one of his best musical moments since the time with Garbarek and Jarrett. Gorgeous! "Kontemplasjon" ("Contemplation") is exactly what it claims to be, simple, a little lingering, and absolutely enchantingly beautiful. "Arv" ("Inheritance") is also made by the pianist himself, but is inspired by Jobim's "How Intensitive", Chopin`s "Prelude No. 1 in E minor" and Brad Mehldau's "Exit Music". It may be so, but as the accordion comes in over Erland Dalen's responsive drums and Kjellemyr's deep bass, it is established that this is Kristin Skaare at her most jazzy. Mmmmmmm. It all rounds off with Skaare and Hovland's "Epilog"("Epilogue") - a more than worthy end to a round, small, strange thing that heavenly music comes out of. Music for joy, comfort, infatuation, celebration, and celebration. The closing stanza, where you usually go down in the tone and which gives a natural ending, is done here by going up, so that it all ends in something that I perceive as a kind of question. Original and nice, and that only asks for an extra number. An extra number we probably have to wait for some concert with this fantastic, musical composition to experience. If I am ever asked which five songs I want at my funeral, Kristin Skaare's beautiful compositions are very far up the list. For this is music that goes straight to the bone. Kristin, tell me next time you borrow Kulturkirken Jakob (The cultural church Jacob). If you need the company of a listener with an ear on a stalk, I'll come!!!

– Jan Granlie​

VAR-mt from Skaare

Svart terning med hvite prikker viser terningkast fem

Terningkast fem

Kristin Skaare is a musician most people have heard - without them even knowing it. With "Var" ("Was") she tells us what an enormous voice she has.

Kari Bremnes understood that. So did Rick Danko from The Band, Björn Afzelius, Vamp, Herborg Kråkevik, Rita Eriksen, Halvdan Sivertsen, Knut Reiersrud, Onkel Tuka and many other greats. Right now it is Anne Grete Preus who has secured Kristin Skare's services. So many up-and-coming artists can probably not be wrong and they do not in the case of Kristin Skaare. We are talking about one of the most heartfelt and versatile keyboardists in the boundless music landscape the kingdom has to offer.

For a couple of decades, the pianist, accordionist, composer, and arranger Kristin Skaare has played an important role in Norwegian music life. She has obviously not had a strong need to be at the forefront of the line herself - apart from the solo debut "Amoraroma" (what a name/word!) Since 1999 - Skaare has been the faithful servant of all those mentioned and many others. Fortunately, the desire or need to report something that is her own has reappeared in recent years and "Var" ("Was") has grown slowly but surely.

Kristin Skaare grew up in a church environment. Therefore, the road was not so long to Kulturkirken Jakob (The cultural church Jacob) and the beautiful room there gave Skaare the peace and quiet she sought for the music to grow.

The 11 melodies are either more or less well-known hymns or Skaare's own compositions which also often have something hymn-like or sacred about them. Skaare gives the music and herself a lot of air and space and this is music that grows and grows and grows. She takes us into a fantastically beautiful and melodic sound world and she has allied herself with the drum giants Jon Christensen and Erland Dahlen and the bass giant Bjørn Kjellemyr, very much is in place for "Var" ("Was") to become a musical journey with a timeless stamp on it.

Kristin Skaare tells us with "Var" ("Was") that she is in possession of something completely unique. Those who want to treat themselves or others around them to something good, warm and heartfelt when the evenings get long and dark do not have to look further.

– Tor Hammerø, Nettavisen

Infinitely beautiful
Roald Helgheim, Dagsavisen

"Jag kan icke räkna dom alla" is a Swedish classic among hymns. As a child, Kristin Skaare thought it was about mathematics. It is the first song on the most beautiful album this fall.

The psalmists will know that the text is by Lina Sandell, and that what she can not list is "de prov på Guds godhet jag rönt" ("the proofs of God's goodness I ran"). For Kristin Skaare, it is one of the songs that came to her when she sat down at the piano and looked for silence, as it says.

The multi-instrumentalist who has played piano and accordion on between fifty and one hundred records with the cream of Norwegian artists in all genres, who otherwise has a track record of musical projects she has been involved in that fills a book, which she made her solo debut in 1999 with "Amoramorama" - she was also the first female pianist in the jazz line at the Department of Musicology in Oslo. Whether that is the reason why I am reminded of Jan Johansson in a city is not good to say, but the music in question is called "Sakrale virvler" ("Sacred Swirls"), in which the composer Egil Hovland is involved, together with a beautiful Finnish piece from the 16th century.


Thus, the genre boundaries are lifted on this album, where "Å, Jesus, du som fyller alt i alle" and "Leid milde ljos", wonderfully beautifully interpreted, are as natural to have as Skaare's songs, some songs in collaboration with others, all with somewhat sacred in the search. That many hymns are among the most beautiful in the whole song treasure, is something musicians know. No matter how they are played, you will hear that it is a hymn.

Kristin Skaare interprets everything instrumentally on the album "Var" ("Was"), where she has Bjørn Kjellemyr on bass and Jon Christensen and Erland Dahlen alternately on drums. The thoughts she has made around music, a city inspired by Hans Børli, she writes about along the way. On Åge Samuelsen's "Å, Jesus, du som fyller alt i alle" she uses the accordion, on a melody "so beautiful that I had to give it a little shade". This is how it is on this album I never get tired of, and I conclude Lina Sandell: "Jag kan icke räkna dom alla. Men ack må jag tacka dess mer." ("I can not count them all. But alas, may I thank its more").

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