Bugge (pronounced ‘boogie’) came onto the jazz scene over 20 years as an eager and innovative jazz pianist, keyboardist, producer and composer from Norway. But he really made his mark from 1996 with a series of recordings by his group “New Conception of Jazz” on his own label, Jazzland Recordings, which he had founded one year earlier.
In other words, Bugge Wesseltoft (born 1964) is a visionary, and he’s been influential on the European jazz scene for at least 20 years. His current tour celebrates the 20th anniversary of his “New Conception of Jazz,” but with a younger, all-female band or as he puts it, it’s a “new new conception of jazz.”
Bugge’s original “new” concept for jazz, which he started to develop in 1994, was dubbed “future jazz” or “nu jazz” as a fusion of jazz, house, and other electronic music–techno, ambient, and noise combined with free improvisation. Buggie played grand piano and Fender Rhodes, as well as different keyboards, percussion instruments, samplers, programming devices, and vocal effects, both in live performances and for the group’s studio recordings. His group included the best young Norwegians at that time including the trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer , and guitar and effects with Eivind Aarset. Later he added DJs and programmers along with various guest vocalists including Sidsel Endresen.
Bugge also had prior experience as a proper jazz musician, recording for ECM with the Arild Andersen band, and he played and recorded with the iconic Norwegian saxophonist Jan Garbarek at festivals and on the world music and shamanist-influenced jazz album “I Took Up The Runes” (ECM, 1990).
All of his past recordings as New Conception of Jazz but even prior to this seem to have come full circle, resurfaced and reinvigorated, with his newest group, which features Marthe Lea on saxophone, Oddrun Lilja Jonsdottir on guitar, Sanskriti Shrestha on tablas, and Oyunn Kjenstad on drums.
It is Bugge’s older progressive sound with a newer, fresher feminine touch. Something new, as always.
You can catch Bugge Wesseltoft’s New Conception of Jazz, 2016 Edition, or as Bugge & Friends at the cities and venues below.
Oct. 25. Palac Akropolis, Prague, Czech Republic
Oct. 26. Oval Space, London, UK.
Nov. 1. Red Bull Academy Berlin with Henrik Schwarz, Berlin, Germany
Nov. 8. Lydkolonien, 12 hour jam session at Ingensteds, Oslo, Norway
YT Video: Bugge Wesseltoft’s