|"if the Miles Davis Quintet with Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter And Herbie Hancock could have rocked, they would have been the brilliant and ass kicking Atomic."|
-Lloyd Peterson/All About Jazz
"Despite the fact that they remain largely unknown on this side of the Atlantic, with every new album the Swedish-Norwegian quintet Atomic further strengthens its claim to be one of the worlds greatest jazz outfits"
"On Retrograde this scandinavian quintet opts for a set of compositions much looser than its usual repertoire. The musicians’ intuitive rapport and high-level communication skills allow them to transform even the sketchiest melodic or rythmic structures into gripping narratives- they nail this new paradigm with all the gusto and daring they brought to their old freebop-based approach."
-Peter Margasak/Chicago Reader - December 2008
-Atomic got in April 2009 the Swedish jazzaward "jazzkatten" for the best Swedish Jazzband of the year!
-Retrograde was by The Chicago Reader voted to be the best CD-release of 2008!
RETROGRADE (Jazzland/2008; Cat. No. 176 8843-8)
The Scandinavian quintet Atomic are now entering, in piano player Haavard Wiik’s words, "our difficult second box set-phase". Not too many years have passed since their universally acclaimed 3-disk bonanza The Bikini Tapes, but now they are at it again with Retrograde. The triple collection is bursting with exciting new material that is further advancing the legacy of this stellar jazz combo. Their initial goal of combining the american Fire music of the sixties with the advanced stylings of european improvisational music have since long been achieved, and they are now constantly refining and/or attacking their own tradition.
The new material most certainly rank among the most precious moments in Atomics eight year long career.
Wiik and Ljungkvists material show off their compositional and improvisational skills at full force. But make sure to lend an ear to the tunes by Broo, the funked-up live showstopper "Painbody" (don’t ask), and Håker Flatens majestic "Swedish Oklahoma in the desert of love" (don’t ask). The albums title refers to the action of moving backwards, but this must surely be a joke. Retrograde is the sound of a band near it’s peak, but let us hope they never really reach it.
Earlier releases by the band;
FEET MUSIC (Jazzland/2002; Cat. No. 016 558-2)
"Debut of the year!" wrote John Fordham in The Guardian (UK), describing Atomic as "One of the most exhilarating new groups on the European circuit!". Feet Music brought together five young musicians from the adventurous jazz underground of Sweden and Norway. Formed in the spring of 1999, they quickly forged a strong group identity without sacrificing their individual freedom of expression. Taking the album title from a composition by Ornette Coleman, Haker Flaten says, "The music is groovy. In a way, it needs people, and it's searching for human contact -- it's not introverted music. We see our music as being for extroverted people and hopefully they see it that way, too".
BOOM BOOM (Jazzland2003; Cat. No. 038 264-2)
Atomic’s second album release, Boom Boom became a greatly anticipated follow-up by fans and critics alike, and resulted in their first Norwegian "Grammy" (Spellemannprisen) award for Best Jazz Album of 2003.
BIKINI TAPES (Jazzland/2005; Cat. No. 9871540)
Following up their success with Boom Boom, they released the generous three-CD live set The Bikini Tapes in 2005.
HAPPY NEW EARS! (Jazzland/2006; Cat. No. 987 655-4)
In their amazing, powerhouse performance on their fourth CD Happy New Ears! , ATOMIC yet again finds themselves awarded with their second Norwegian "Grammy" (Spellemannprisen), awarded for Best Jazz Album. Following up 2005’s release of the triple-CD live set The Bikini Tapes (Jazzland, 2005), the album is filled with 65-minutes’ worth of new material in 10 tracks from the combined talents of Fredrik Ljungkvist (saxophones, clarinet), Magnus Broo (trumpet), Paal Nilssen-Love (drums), Ingebrigt Håker Flaten (bass) and Håvard Wiik (piano). A listening to Happy New Ears! will reveal why the band garnered its second "Best Jazz Album award" after only four album releases!
Atomic also have a collaboration with reedist Ken Vandermark and trombonist Jeb Bishop from Chicago, and the Swedish vibraphonplayer Kjell Nordesson in the band; "Atomic School Days", which they have released two albums with; "nuclear assembly hall" 2003, and "Distil" 2008, both CD´s are out on the Chicago label OkkaDisc.