23 February 2008

Bare Jazz

Today, Minnie and I, as we often do on Saturdays, went to Oslo for shopping. As we tend to always do, we first went to Bogstadveien, a good shopping street in Majorstua. We went around in lots of stores, and I found myself a nice hooded sweatshirt. After we finished the shopping we wanted to sit down at a cafe and relax a bit. Since we have to go to downtown to take the train, we figured we'd find a place there. We therefore took the tram downtown and walked around a bit to find a nice place.

We were walking in the street Grensen, when I realized we were close to a place called "Bare Jazz", ("Only Jazz" in English). This is one of the most interesting places in Oslo I think, being a part record store (only jazz-records of course), part coffee-shop. It has a really nice interior, with the coffee shop upstairs and the record store in the ground floor. There are some really nice pictures on the website of the place (which also features an online record store): http://www.barejazz.no/

The place is run, and founded, by Bodil Niska, who herself is a well known jazz-musician. I actually found a "music video" on youtube with her:

Minnie and I went into the place and found a table (which was pure luck, since the place was packed). We had a café latte each, together with a piece of carrot cake and a piece of cheese cake. The cheese cake had brownie with nuts for bun, yummy! After a bit, we decided to leave. When we came down to the record store I realized I hadn't gotten myself any new jazz albums in a long time.

I really like jazz, especially with young Norwegian performers. Growing up close to Molde, with it's extremely good jazz festival, MoldeJazz, each summer, I learned to enjoy this style of music. My greatest experiences there have been with great young Norwegian performers. The level of their performances always blow me away, and I leave with an feeling of awe... There's a reason why artists like Chick Corea and Pat Metheney can't stop praising them when they have played with them at MoldeJazz. Check out Chick Corea & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra - Live in Molde if you want to know how a meeting like that sounds.

I hadn't really followed this genre lately, so I figured I'd ask for a recommendation. Luckily, that day Bodil Niska herself was behind the counter :) She recommended this album: Petter Wettre - Appetite For Structure. You can check out Petter Wettre's music at his mySpace-site. The album is great, I've been listening the whole time while writing this post :)

So, if you're in Oslo and have some interest in jazz, or just want to experience a coffee shop a bit out of the ordinary, drop by Bare Jazz and realize that its not only jazz :)

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