Skydive trio: Sun Moee

Norwegian release: 20.02.2015
International release: 17.04.2015

On the album Sun Moee we encounter guitarist Thomas T. Dahl for the first time as the leader and driving force of a band. The Skydive Trio is a good, old-fashioned guitar trio that is solidly rooted in a melodious landscape, and is nourished by rich harmonies and the sonorous guitar wizardry of Thomas T. Dahl. His playing surfs on the rhythmic waves made by Finnish drummer Olavi Louhivuori (Oddarang, Tomasz Stanko) and Norwegian bass player extraordinaire Mats Eilertsen (Tord Gustavsen).
Dahl himself composed several of the pieces on the album, including “Slow Turn”, “Talbot” and the title tune “Sun Moee”, while Eilertsen and Louhivuori also contributed their own compositions. We are also treated to a fascinating cover version of the Portishead song “Sour Times”.
Thomas T. Dahl studied in the Jazz Programme at the University of Trondheim, and had his breakthrough as a member of the prize-winning band Krøyt featuring vocalist Kristin Asbjørnsen. His musical capacity is impressive, and he feels equally at home in a variety of styles and genres. On Sun Moee he paints a cinematic landscape where pop and rock elements, along with subtle electronic manipulation, intersect with the sound of strings. Dahl has previously released albums with the bands BMX, together with Per Jørgensen, and Dingobats, together with Eirik Hegdal, and has collaborated with Erlend Skomsvoll, Jon Balke, Hilmar Jensson, Nils-Olav Johansen, Ole Hamre, John Inderberg, Highasakite and Ephemera.
The members of the SkyDive Trio have worked together as part of a larger band for a number of years, and it shows. All three play on Mats Eilertsen’s Radio Yonder (2009) and SkyDive (2011), as well as in Eilertsen’s major work “Rubicon”, which had its world premiere at the Vossa Jazz Festival in 2014.
Mats Eilertsen has released four albums under his own name on the HUBRO label so far. He is known for his warm and lyrical bass style. He is a steady and solid player, but at the same time experimental. He is firmly in control, but is also receptive to fresh ideas and always searching for new sounds. A very active and productive musician and composer, he has played on albums with Tord Gustavsen, The Source, the Wolfert Brederode Quartet, Parish, the Håkon Kornstad Trio, Food with Iain Ballamy, Jacob Young, Solveig Slettahjell’s Slow Motion Orchestra and the Håvard Wiik Trio.
Olavi Louhivuori is a strikingly talented young Finnish drummer and percussionist with a high energy level and a buoyant performance style. He challenges and encourages his fellow musicians to stretch themselves both creatively and musically. Louhivuori studied drums and composition at the Sibelius Academy. Three of the bands he has played in have earned the distinction “Young Nordic Jazz Group”: the Joon Toivanen Trio, the Ilmilekki Quartet and the Sun Trio. Olavi has toured and recorded with the legendary Polish trumpet player Tomasz Stanko, and has also played together with Anthony Braxton, Marilyn Crispell, Susanne Abbuehl and Kenny Wheeler. He has released several albums with his own band and as a solo artist, and was awarded an Emma Prize (Finnish Grammy) with the band Oddarang in 2007.
Sun Moee was recorded at Village Recording Studios in Copenhagen, and was produced by the band members themselves. This is an inspired jazz album from a rock-solid trio.
05.12 Pit Inn, Shinjuku, Tokyo
(19:00 open 19:30 start)
06.12 Airegin, Yokohama,
(20:30 open  21:00 start)
07.12 Jazz Flash, Niigata
(19:00 open 19:30 start)
08.12 Karura Hall, Kyodo, Tokyo 
(18:30 open 19:00 start)




  1. Är det här jazz? I brist på bättre sorteringsalternativ, ja. Thomas T Dahl på gitarr, Mats Eilertsen på kontrabas och Olavi Louhivuori på trummor skapar en atmosfär som påminner om vad electrorockbandet Radiohead gjorde på Amnesiac. Att Sun moee innehåller en version av Portisheads Sour times antyder att trion har influenser utanför jazzvärlden. Musiken är harmonisk, melodisk och har en porlande kvalitet som gör att den alltid tycks röra sig framåt, om än stilla. Som en svalkande vind. Efter ett tag flyter låtarna in i varandra och bildar en större helhet, snarare än åtta separata låtar.
    – Smålandsposten (SE) 4/5

  2. Sous ce nom collectif qui donne envie de s’évader et de plonger dans les nuages — à l’image de la musique — on découvre un trio où l’on retrouve le contrebassiste Mats Eilertsen (auteur d’un joli disque sur le même label), le batteur Olavi Louhivuori et, surtout, le guitariste Thomas T. Dahl. Un vrai trio dont la six-cordes de Dahl, si elle occupe souvent le premier plan, est loin d’être l’unique composante. Ces enfants du trio de Bill Frisell ont le sens de l’espace, des couleurs et du voyage. Leur minimalisme délicat, leur éloge de la lenteur, incarnés dans des compositions qui s’écoutent comme des paysages sonores, vaut qu’on prenne le temps de s’y abandonner et de laisser vagabonder son imaginaire.
    Une belle découverte.
    Jazz News, Vincent Bessières – SELECTION (FR)

  3. The Skydive Trio operates at a slightly more subdued pitch compared to Finland, but the trio’s music is no less engaging. The material played by guitarist Thomas T. Dahl, double bassist Mats Eilertsen, and drummer Olavi Louhivuori on Sun Moee might be classified as trio jazz of a particularly melodious kind. Though all three are established players, it’s Eilertsen whose name will be most familiar to readers of this site: he’s issued four albums under his own name on Hubro, including 2009’s Radio Yonder and 2011’s SkyDive, both of which feature Dahl and Louhivuori. Just as he does on his own recordings, Eilertsen anchors Skydive Trio with a warm and fluid attack that’s as unerring as Dave Holland’s.

    The trio format suits the musicians well in granting space to their collective playing and interactions, and each roams freely without getting in the way of the others whilst also attending closely to what they’re doing. Throughout the fifty-two-minute date, Dahl’s jazz-inflected sound is clean and free of distortion, and Eilertsen and Louhivuori provide a solid yet still limber foundation for the guitarist to play against. The trio’s relaxed swing is nicely captured in the breezy opener “Bravo” and lyrical ballad “Becks Back,” while “Talbot,” a flattering showcase for Dahl’s soloing chops, makes a compelling case for the telepathy the three seemingly share. Eilertsen’s no slouch in the soloing department either, as shown by the introductory turn he takes on “Slow Turn.”
    All three contribute tunes to the recording, but it’s the cover of Portishead’s “Sour Times” that’s an understandable drawing card. While connections between the trio version and the original are audible (Dahl’s melodic voicings reference Portishead’s song, as do Eilertsen’s descending phrases and Louhivuori’s quasi-martial groove), the tune becomes as much a Skydive Trio performance as anything else on the release. As ear-catching as the cover is, the title track is even more memorable for the way it punctuates its languorous flow with aggressive flourishes, and hearing Dahl augment his electric with acoustic guitar adds to the appeal. While a bit of John Scofield seeps into his playing on the cut, Dahl’s generally his own man throughout the recording, and one comes away impressed by the high level of the performances.
    – Textura (CA)

  4. Bassist Mats Eilertsen har her samlet en gitartrio, med bandnavn hentet fra sin forrige soloskive Skydive. Sammenlignet med den plata er pianoet og saxofonen strippet bort til fordel for et mer minimalistisk trio-sound der gitarist Thomas T. Dahl får briljere alene i front. Musikalsk beveger de seg i et stille landskap der elementer av post-rock, jazz og americana flyter sammen i en typisk nattestemning. Låtene er egenskrevne, minus en gåsehudfremkallende coverversjon av Portisheads «Sour Times», og bygger seg sakte og stemingsfullt opp mot klimaks, skal man lage en sammenlikning må det være en akustisk versjon av Tortoise med Bill Frisell på gitar. Men tross det amerikanskklingende gitarspillet låter dette umiskjennelig skandinavisk, noe som understrekes av det luftige og ekstremt transparente lydbildet som gir plenty av rom til alle instrumentenes klang. I tillegg til å være en vakker og bevegende skive er den nemlig også lydmessig helt i toppklasse.
    Big / Årets beste 2015 – Andreas Leine Jakobsen (N)