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Pet Variations

Compact Disc (Audio)
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Pet Variations
Pet Variations


Scandinavian supergroup Atomic began their career confounding convention and eighteen extraordinary years later they are still at it. The band's latest album, "Pet Variations", a signature blend of impassioned jazz and rebooted contemporary-classicism, is a fresh departure from the norm.

Atomic was formed in 2000 by trumpeter Magnus Broo and reed player Fredrik Ljungkvist, from Sweden, and pianist Havard Wiik, bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love, from Norway. The line-up remained unchanged until 2014, when Nilssen-Love left, to be replaced by fellow Norwegian Hans Hulbækmo.

After fourteen discs, on which the overwhelming majority of the material was written in-house, the only original on "Pet Variations" is Wiik's title track, which segues into Wilson's "Pet Sounds." The other composers are a mix of jazz and contemporary-classical stylists: Messiaen ("Louange à l'Éternité de Jésus"), Varese ("Un Grand Sommeil Noir"), Steve Lacy ("Art"), Alexander von Schlippenbach ("Inri"), Jimmy Giuffre ("Cry Want"), Carla Bley ("Walking Woman") and Jan Garbarek ("Karin's Mode"). The inclusion of Garbarek's "Karin's Mode" as the album's closer might cause surprise, given that Atomic has always been, if not on a different planet from the ECM standard-bearer, then in a different orbit. "It's one of Jan's really early pieces," says Wiik, "and Atomic has a lot of musical roots from that time and the music he was doing back then. It was actually the last tune we recorded in the session. One take and no rehearsal." The album's other highlights include Lacy's sublimely lyrical "Art," Varese's otherworldly "Un Grand Sommeil Noir" and Bley's seminal "Walking Woman". Atomic's trademark exuberance is unleashed on Wiik's "Pet Variations" and Schlippenbach's "Inri." Every track is a delight - simultaneously an adventure and a celebration.


  1. Name
  2. Pet Variations / Pet Sounds
  3. Art
  4. Walking Woman
  5. Un Grand Sommeil Noir
  6. Cry Want
  7. Louange à L'Éternité De Jésus
  8. Inri
  9. Karin's Mode
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