Grappa Musikkforlag AS

Espen Berg presents "Water Fabric", a boundary-breaking and breathtaking new album.


With nine exceptionally strong trio and solo albums Espen Berg (40) has become one of the most central and tone-setting Norwegian jazz musicians today. Today marks the release of his new album Water Fabric on Odin Records, which shows completely new sides of Espen as a composer. He has put together a hand-picked ensemble consisting of six high-profile Norwegian musicians with a background in jazz, classical, Norwegian folk music and Indian classical music. This composition reflects Espen's ability to make any musical expression his own, and with Water Fabric he has created a melodious, boundary-breaking, and breathtaking work that both oozes with the joy of playing and also shows a deep respect for musical traditions and craftsmanship. 

Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim
Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim


Espen Berg, piano and compositions
Harpreet Bansal, violin 
Hayden Powell, trumpet and flügelhorn 
Ellie Mäkelä, viola 
Per Oddvar Johansen, drums 
Joakim Munkner, cello 

Water Fabric was originally commissioned by Jazzfest Trondheim in 2020, in collaboration with Maijazz Stavanger and Oslo Jazzfestival, and was premiered to standing ovations at these three festivals in 2022. The title itself embraces broadly, as an analogy to water in all possible states, textures and shades, and it is borrowed from a piece that Espen wrote back in 2005 and later arranged for string quartet. With Water Fabric he revisits the chamber music format, but this time with maturity and countless experiences richer.

In 2017 Espen wrote the commissioned work MAETRIX for the Trondheim Jazz Orchestra - a monstrous work dominated by complex rhythms, but at the same time melodious and inviting. This work laid much of the foundation for the musical development of the Espen Berg Trio and also helped in shaping the music in Water Fabric. In addition, Espen has brought valuable knowledge from his solo project into Water Fabric, which is based exclusively on free improvisation. Several of the compositions in Water Fabric have their roots in spontaneously composed material, which fosters presence, spontaneity and atmosphere, but at the same time is imperfect and unpolished by nature.

Water Fabric was recorded in Rainbow Studio in Oslo in January 2023, and is supported by the Arts Council Norway through Fond for lyd og bilde, and Fond for Utøvende Kunstnere. 

Photo: Espen Berg, Cover: Nick Alexander

Espen Berg is touring Europe and Asia regularly with Espen Berg Trio, as a solo pianist, with Hildegunn Øiseth Quartet, A Tonic For The Troops, and in a duo with Silje Nergaard. In 2022 he released The Trondheim Concert, which was declared one of the most beautiful improvised solo piano concerts of the last decade by UK Vibe, and appointed a natural and worthy successor to Keith Jarrett’s legendary solo concerts by Jazzwise. With his trio he has sold out concert halls in Tokyo, Kyoto, Guangzhou and Athens, and was listed with one of the best releases of 2019 in Downbeat. Espen received Norway’s largest jazz scholarship in 2016, JazZtipendiatet, and he is an official Steinway Artist. 




Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim
Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim
Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim
Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim
Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim
Photo: Kristoffer Hylland Skogheim


About Grappa Musikkforlag

Grappa Musikkforlag was established in 1983, and is the oldest and largest independent record company in Norway. Home of many prestigious labels including Hubro, Simax Classics, Odin, Blue Mood, Heilo, Barneselskapet and Grappa label. Close collaborations with other strong indies, including Rune Grammofon and Drabant. A wide variety of genres includes jazz, folk, classical, contemporary, pop, rock, blues, singer/songwriter – all from Norwegian artists of the highest quality.

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