Helge Lien Trio : Badgers And Other Beings


192kHz/24-bit FLAC*, Ozella OZ 055 CD (supplied by www.highresaudio.com)

This fourth album on the German label introduces a new drummer to the jazz trio: Per Oddvar Johansen, who replaces Knut Aalefjær after 13 years with classically-trained (Norwegian Music Academy) pianist Helge Lien and bassist Frode Berg. Recorded at RainbowStudio in Oslo, the ten tracks are all by Lien – whose cited influences are Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett and Brad Mehldau. Some of them I find a bit rambling, then suddenly it all makes sense. The last track, ‘Badger’s Lullaby’, is the most enjoyable with a final slowing into silence. It also allows Johansen’s percussion a few moments spread across the whole soundstage, whereas he’s mostly confined to the rear left. There’s a lot of post-production work here as part of the sonic concept, so although the 192kHz resolution allows vivid tonal representation, perspectives are constantly in flux. CB

Sound Quality: 75%

Hi-Fi News Lab Report

Spectral analysis [above] suggests something has gone awry here, possibly during post-production. There’s a clear 48kHz sample tone, modulated by the audio, but the spurious ‘clumps’ at ~33kHz and ~66kHz are unvarying. PM