This group reflects a mélange of influences ranging from Hendrix & James Blood Ulmer to Albert Ayler & Hal Russel, with some rock esthetics thrown in, for good measure. Scorch came about as a result of meeting Finnish guitarist, Raoul Björkenheim at the Jyvaskyla Summer Jazz Festival in 1998. Hearing each other play, it was immediately obvious to both of us that a collaboration would lead to some highly inspired music. The group was originally conceived as a trio with my frequent co-conspirator, Paal Nilssen-Love on drums, and as a constellation we recorded 3 albums for Norwegian boutique label, Rune Grammofon: Scorch Trio (2004), Luggumt (2007) and Brolt(2008). After the departure of Paal in 2009, Frank Rosaly was invited to join us in filling out our trio and we recorded and released a fourth album “Melaza” together, through Rune Grammofon. In 2011 we enlisted the talents of legendary Chicago sax-man, Mars Williams . With Mars now in the mix the group has taken a completely new and exciting direction.
Our first European tour as a quartet in the spring of 2011, resulted in some great live recordings that are released as the double-vinyl “Made in Norway” also through Rune Grammofon.
“Björkenheim deals Mahavishnu-style note-bursts with fluency as well as rapidity; that’s not a style that generally meshes well with darting sopranino lines or hard-blown free tenor phrases, but he and Williams play off of each other in an effective manner. And while one might expect Håker Flaten’s heavy, funk-like lumps to fall right through the then spots in Rosaly’s percussive lattices, they fit right into the pattern. When Rosaly first recorded with this group a couple years ago, they seemed to retrench, but in retrospect it seems like they were pulling back catapult-style. Now they’ve let loose. Vinyl only, 500 copies on white vinyl, and the gatefold cover is so pretty you’ll want to lock it up safely when the dope-cleaners come over.” (Bill Meyer) – Read the whole review here.
“The Scorch Trio has been working together for several years and have released several powerful recordings on Rune Grammophone, though original percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love was replaced by Rosaly on 2010’s Meleza. In this latest configuration, duets between Bjorkenheim and Williams are inspired as they blend their voices and goad each other on, always just a little bit further. Rosaly’s drumming is vibrant and varied as he pulls and pushes the music in different directions. Haker-Flaten’s bass is brimming with life, generating enormous waves of sound and subtly supporting the gentler passages.