Krokofant - Krokofant III album review

Nordic prog jazz beast with a roar.

Krokofant III album artwork

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For several years now Norway has been the place where the really interesting work on breaking fences between jazz and rock has taken place.

A younger generation of musicians have come through the state-supported education system where they’ve been taught that the progressive music of the 1970s isn’t a dirty word but is in fact connected to something far more valuable than a few condescending japes about capes. This partly explains why Krokofant are just one of several Scandinavian outfits that look to King Crimson or Van der Graaf Generator as much as any of the old gods of fusion for guidance if not actual inspiration. Their background in free improvisation involves a certain exuberance in the soloing but it’s always penned into tightly defined structures. Tom Hasslan’s guitar on the album can best be described by the dreaded C-word, ie coruscating; a term over-used and frowned upon in review-writing circles, but which accurately sums up the brilliance of his playing throughout this record. Similarly forbidden adjectives could be invoked when it comes to Axel Skalstad (drums) or Jørgen Mathisen (saxophone and synth) and the truly mighty sound this genre-defying beast of a band make.

Sid Smith

Sid's feature articles and reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Prog, Classic Rock, Record Collector, Q, Mojo and Uncut. A full-time freelance writer with hundreds of sleevenotes and essays for both indie and major record labels to his credit, his book, In The Court Of King Crimson, an acclaimed biography of King Crimson, was substantially revised and expanded in 2019 to coincide with the band’s 50th Anniversary. Alongside appearances on radio and TV, he has lectured on jazz and progressive music in the UK and Europe.  

A resident of Whitley Bay in north-east England, he spends far too much time posting photographs of LPs he's listening to on Twitter and Facebook.