Hedvig Mollestad & Trondheim Jazz Orchestra: Maternity Beat (2LP/CD)
Vinyl editions in gatefold sleeve.
Limited edition on clear vinyl.
With Maternity Beat, Hedvig Mollestad has surpassed herself, most significantly as a composer and arranger, and delivered her most ambitious work to date. And that´s not a proclamation to be taken lightly. Mollestad, after all, has been one of Norway’s most adventurous and hardest-working musicians since the Molde International Jazz Festival named her the Young Jazz Talent of the Year in 2009. Recorded with the 12-piece Trondheim Jazz Orchestra (who have previously worked with legends like Chick Corea and Joshua Redman), Maternity Beat is a sprawling double album and true career milestone. The sheer sonic and emotional scope of this album required Mollestad wear multiple hats: guitar explorer, composer, arranger, improviser, collaborator, and, as the striking title implies, mother. In addition to encompassing the full evolution of her sound to date, it offers deeply personal meditations on the nature of family and pressing social justice issues.
While listeners will no doubt encounter the Mahavishnu Orchestra-inspired fire music that has made the Hedvig Mollestad Trio heavyweights in 21st-century fusion and jazz-metal, Maternity Beat also expands on the contemplative experimentation showcased on two of Mollestad’s recent solo works: 2020’s Ekhidna, and Tempest Revisited, released in 2021, both of which netted her a Spellemannpris (the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy).