Monthly Archives: August 2012

Þorvaldur Þór Þorvaldsson (Doddi)

DoddiGraphic by Paige Bowman

As the Reykjavik jazz festival is underway, I thought I would blog about an Icelandic jazz musician.  Iceland definitely holds it’s own with diverse jazz musicians.  From the smooth classical quartet style of Sunna Gunnlaugs to the glam-pop rockish guitar jams of GP! (Guðmundur Pétursson.)  It’s not that hard to find Icelandic jazz to dig.

I’m slightly biased, I really dig drummers and I find it exceptional when a drummer can not only compose their own albums, but manage not to overpower those albums with just drums.  So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I really dig Þorvaldur Þór Þorvaldsson (Doddi.)  You may recognize him as the crazy crowned drummer that accompanied Jónsi on the band’s 2010 tour.  But before, and now after that, he’s been recording and creating jazz.  Doddi’s self titled album happens to be one of my favorite Sunday morning breakfast making albums.  You get smooth elements intertwined with great orchestrations of blended instruments, and he certainly has that ability to not overpower a piece.  The first time I heard the album I was blown away.  He was so active and smash-tacular with Jónsi but his album was such a smooth blend, not too cookie cutter but not overpowering with the hyper-ness I was expecting.  It’s a jazz album that I personally think non-jazz and jazz listeners will equally enjoy.

You can listen to the full length album here.  And my favorite tracks from the album are:

Vaknaði með vængi

Þrír fjórir
Unfortunately, from what I saw he’s not going to be around for the jazz festival.  But I am hoping that he may do something during Airwaves, the annual Icelandic music festival happening at the end of October.  You can learn more, and see what he’s up to on his website
So, apparently I cannot embed the songs from Gogoyoko directly into WordPress as they embed as objects that are not approved by WP.  I am working on getting them accepted.

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Vigri

vigri
Vigri the band was formed in 2009 by the Pjetursson brothers Bjarki and Hans.  Named after the last ship their Grandfather captained, Vigri tends to be environmental and atmospheric.  To me, the album feels like romanticized windswept cloudy days on a beach where regardless of the elements you find yourself at peace.  Which is odd as they have just released a video for my favorite song off the Pink Boats album and it happens on a snowy beach:

 

From what I’ve heard, Pink Boats was recorded inside a slew of Icelandic churches capitalizing on the old wooden interiors to boost their sound.  Add to that the brilliant tinkerings of Iceland’s own Birgir Jón Birgissong, and you get a very pleasant album indeed.  If you listen closely you can actually hear the bells of Hallgrimskirkja ringing away, though I’m not going to tell you where, you can find it on your own.
Vigri consist of Bjarki and Hans Pjetursson, Atli Jónasson, Þórir Bergsson and Egill Halldórsson.  And you can listen to Pink Boats in its entirety and purchase the sucker on Bandcamp.  Animals, Maternal Machine, and I I Augsyn are my favorite tracks.