Still only 29 years old when composing and recording this album, Kjetil Mulelid is one of the brightest talents in Norwegian jazz, and these days that really says something. In Kjetil's childhood home they had a subscription for a "Classical Masterpieces" CD collection. One that especially caught his attention, and would be played repeatedly, included the most melodic piano music of Beethoven, Chopin and Debussy. At the same time his elder brother introduced him to "old" rock like Led Zeppelin and Queen, winning him over and getting him interested in the guitar rather than the piano.
When he later applied to music education in high school with electric guitar as his main instrument, the teachers asked if he played other instruments. He duly played a song on the piano, and heard nothing more of it. Months later, thinking he was enrolled as a guitarist, he was (to his horror) introduced to the class as a pianist. While he loved listening to classical piano music, playing it he felt tied up in the "rules" and the sheet music. It was simply more fun to play rock music on electric guitar_ surely a familiar story! Later a classically trained piano teacher played him some gospel and boogie woogie and introduced him to some simple pentatonic hooks on a C major blues.
He hadn't really touched the piano in a very long time, but the same night he started experimenting and improvising around what she had shown him, and from that moment he was all into the piano and would dig further into improvisation and jazz. And the rest is history, as they say. Kjetil was sceptical when we first suggested a solo piano record back in early 2018, but the idéa slowly grew on him and when the pandemic exploded and other plans had to be scrapped, he suddenly had the time as well as the means to do it. So the bulk of the album was written in a hectic lockdown period and recorded on a steaming hot June day in the legendary Athletic Sound studio on their unique and characteristic Bösendorfer grand piano from 1919. Of the piano Kjetil says the sound is one of a kind, very clear and not typically "perfect" like most new ones. We can only wholeheartedly agree, it sounds great and is also very well recorded and mixed, giving the impression that you sit next to him, and not in a concert hall.
In turn joyful, playful and elegant, the album fully shows Kjetil's harmonic and melodic mastery and the influence from those early introductions to the classical masters. Whether staying with the tune or taking off on improvised flights, there is an ease and assurance in his playing that betrays his young age.Kjetil has a bachelor degree in jazz performance from NTNU in Trondheim, has played in most European countries, Japan and USA, released two acclaimed albums with his trio on Rune Grammofon, and is also a member of Wako.