It’s been in the pipes for a long time and now it’s here. Hot Eskimos and Nils Landgren will throw a concert in Harpa, Reykjavík September 11th. Get tickets here.
I saw Nils play on Lund´s Jazzfestival with guitarist Johan Norberg and it was such a great night. Nils Landgren is an awesome trombonist and a great singer. He’s really the Chet Baker of the trombone. A smooth likeable voice that sounds somehow like he plays the tromebine.
I think that Nils and the Hot Eskimos will be a great mix and the concert day can’t come fast enough! Some Icelandic and Swedish folk songs, some jazzed up pop songs and a few originals. It will be a blast!
Hot Eskimos have only played a few gigs this year. Tonight will be our fifth. We plan on doing a few more and then head to the studio and record our next album. There hasn’t been too much activity either on this site. That may also change. But if you happen to be in Seyðisfjörður tonight you could catch us at the Blue Church.
Photo Mats Kubiak
Now I’ve been to Jazzahead 2013 in Brehmen in Germany and met up with many jazz entusiasts from all over the world. Journalists, radio programmers, performers, tour managers, publishers and just all kind of folks who’s jobs are jazz related.
I saw a bunch of great bands, many from Israel who had a special showcase night due to the fact that they were co-hosting the convention. And a few danish bands that were great! And a very inspiring english pianist who has made an album only with his left hand so to speak! I also made many friends that I hope I get to meet again.
I put some effort in promoting Hot Eskimos over there, mainly by giving away some demos of our album Songs From the Top of the World. And though it’s hard to tell if such a gesture pays off it apparently has already. On a playlist on the program Cutting Edge on the british Jazz FM our version of Birthday was featured. Cool stuff! And on the same playlist I see a few other acts that were present at Jazzahead. Aways good to be heard.
Our new website is expanding as we speak and now you can read info about the band in six languages, one of wich is japanese. Hot Eskimos in japanese is ホットエスキモーズ.Who would have thought!
Lazy you say? No, we’re not lazy. Anything but. Here’s the thing: I’ve been living in Sweden for some years now while the rest of the trio have been located in Iceland. That is about to change. After just a few weeks I throw my belongings into a container and ship it to Iceland. So what? you might ask. Well my dear Watson, Hot Eskimos will be way more active. I really can’t wait to start rehearsing as a jazz trio should! But first I’m off to Bremen in Germany to meet some fellow jazzists on the Jazzahead convention.
Björk, Jónsi, Emilíana Torrini and Yohanna all get their share along with other distinguished Icelandic artists. Here’s our playlist on Youtube with all the 14 songs we performed 1.September 2012 on Reykjavik Jazz Festival. Note that you can change the playback quality to 720 HD which results in better sound and picture. The first song is ÞEYR’s Rudolf, a punk-rock song about Rudolf Hess.
The camera work looks more like a bootleg (single still camera of iffy quality) which only proofs when you’re a relatively unknown band you have to do your own dirty bootleg work yourself! But the sound is nice, recorded and mixed by fine engineer students as a part of their education.
We played at Reykjavík Jazz Festival on the first day of September. It was a blast. The smallest hall of the four they have in Harpa, such a great sounding facility. An awesome Steinway, freshly tuned by Diddi, my favorite piano tuner. And there were even some people there too, watching and listening. I do admit I was a bit nervous. It was in fact only the third concert that the trio ever did. Come to think of it, we’re actually doing it backwards. First we cut the album, then we started playing live. We clearly didn’t get the memo on how you’re supposed to do these things. It’s amazing how the trio has evolved between these concerts. I really wish we could play more often but we have geographical and other practical boundaries. Some of us live in Iceland and others (OK, me) in Sweden. But we will keep on doing it on irregular basis. Well, the summer had been leading up to that moment, this concert in Harpa and now things will slow down for a while. The Eskimos must prepare for winter. I might put in some blogs about jazz albums once in a while until the trio rises again. Oh, and some clips from the concert, when we get our hands on them. Take care now!
To plug our concert on Reykjavik Jazz Festival we performed three songs in the Icelandic National Radio Channel 2. They usually have pop acts playing there in studio 12 on Fridays but since we’re playing pop songs in jazz arrangements they graciously let us in. And even filmed us in the process. It was fun playing in this carpet laid, dead sounding studio with 70’s tuned drum kit and separation between the instruments. Practically optimal for pop acts but very unusual for a jazz trio. But it turned out nicely. Just watch our take on Emiliana Torrini’s Jungle Drum!
Hot Eskimos are playing a so-called morning session on September first in Harpa on the Reykjavik Jazz Festival. The same night in the same hall, Bill Frisell will be performing John Lennon’s songs with his band. I have to confess I haven’t listened to him as much as I should have. Still I think I’d recognize his sound in a blindfold test. Many of my guitar playing friends love him. I found on Youtube “a making of the album” video from his John Lennon project.
I love “making of” videos. Partly because of the producer in me, I get to see inside the studio, see the mics and amps they’re using…An opportunity to learn.
And partly because the little boy in me that wants so badly to play with the grownups gets closer to them, to meet the legends and listen to them talk, screen to face.
This date will be fantastic, the first Reykjavik gig of Hot Eskimos in the noon and in the evening a concert with Bill Frisell. What could possibly go wrong?
Hot Eskimos played on the annual Folk Music Festival in Siglufjörður,in northen Iceland last June. To be frank, our repetoire is based on popular music from the 70’s onwards so it was a bit of a stretch. But we like to think of these songs as the folk music of tomorrow. And to play along we took an ancient folk melody and made it into a blues. My dear old father heard it on the National Radio 1 (RUV) the other day in a program about the festival. So I directed my browser to their site and downloaded it (as opposed to recording it to a cassette tape as we did when we were young, remember?) And you can listen to it here! Hot Eskimos, live in Siglufjörður kirkja. Yes, it’s the church of Siglufjörður (pictured above).
– A waitress in a hamburger joint in Siglufjörður was so kind to take our picture with the church in the background, just a few steps outside her workplace. As you can tell our bellies are full of hamburgers. Life on the road!