• Julia Naglestad
  • Hedvig Mollestad Trio

A couple of years I was taken by the debut album by Norway’s Hedvig Mollestad Trio, who purvey a loud, hard-hitting instrumental jazz-rock fusion as lean as it is fierce. The group recently released its superb and satisfying second album All of Them Witches (Rune Grammofon), and while it strains credibility to really call it jazz, there’s no missing that the group comes out of that tradition. When I wrote briefly about its debut album Shoot! I referenced the singular string-mangler Sonny Sharrock, but Mollestad has dialed back on the discord here: there’s more than a touch of primo Black Sabbath in the trio’s heavy grooves, which lumber elegantly when they don’t swing violently, and at times the taut, tension-producing intervals, as on the album opener “Sing, Goddess”—which you can hear after the jump—remind me of a hyperactive Caspar Brötzmann. It all feels appealingly familiar, but the trio’s concise hybrids sound all their own.