Jon Thorstensen Broadens Jazz with “Down Under” EP


Norwegian composer, jazz guitarist, and pianist Jon Thorstensen is a visionary artist who continually pushes the boundaries of jazz, exploring its connections with diverse genres such as funk, jazz-rock, and contemporary music.

With an impressive musical revolution, including an album and two EP releases since 2021, Thorstensen stands out as an artist unafraid to venture into uncharted territories.

His latest EP, “Down Under,” indicates his adventurous spirit, masterful craftsmanship, and ability to seamlessly meld jazz with an array of musical landscapes.

In “Down Under,” the realm of jazz expands and morphs, fostering harmonious encounters between funk, sacred, cinematic, atonal, and electronic elements.

Thorstensen’s compositions nestle comfortably within the jazz idiom, while their forms and structures draw inspiration from classical music traditions, even incorporating miniature sonata forms.

“Down Under” is a captivating fusion of piano and guitar-driven pieces that transport listeners on a musical odyssey. On “Yoshi,” the listener embarks on a captivating journey through dynamic layers and diverse themes.

The title track, “Down Under,” orchestrates a captivating meeting between the tones of a church organ and the inspired guitar riffs reminiscent of Wes Montgomery. In “Lemon Sweet,” Thorstensen combines Latin and jazz influences, skillfully navigating non-traditional chord progressions. The track’s infusion of jazz, Latin, and electronica has garnered attention from Brazilian playlists.

A true experiment in musical alchemy, “Trip Horn” merges elements that might seem disparate on the surface: a distorted Terje Rypdal-inspired guitar solo meets trip-hop, tuba, and horns.

This track embodies Thorstensen’s fearless approach to his art, as he defies genre conventions to create something uniquely enthralling.

Collaborating with the accomplished musician and pianist Erlend Gjerde (known for his work with Bugge Wesseltoft and Vidar Busk), Thorstensen enriches his compositions with Gjerde’s minimalist yet unmistakable sound paintings.

“Down Under” has already traversed borders, reaching over 75 countries through international playlists, radio stations, and music blogs. Critics and listeners alike have praised Thorstensen’s music for its intricate craftsmanship, sophisticated arrangements, and innovative musical solutions.

The EP was recorded in Gamlebyen, Fredrikstad, under the guidance of Kyrre Fritzner and Thorstensen himself in his home studio.

Produced, mixed, and mastered by Kyrre Fritzner in FMV Studio, “Down Under” shines as a testament to Jon Thorstensen’s artistry, inviting listeners to experience the essence of jazz woven into a tapestry of sonic exploration.

Stream Full EP below.

Written by
Barbie Edonia


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