• helge lien & knut hem Hummingbird (CD, £11.50)

    Combining the best from jazz and bluegrass, these two exceptional musicians are revealing the bewildering similarities between two seemingly contradictory worlds: the silent melancholy of the fjords and the endless solitude of the canyons; the freezing cold of the Norwegian hinterland and the red-hot freedom of the American highways. References to Wim Wenders and Ry Cooder are entirely coincidental. And yet, the term ‘cinematic Americana’ fits this music like a glove. Already after the very first few bars, the images flood the mind’s eye, evoking sensations of epic expanses and setting up the acoustic screen for big emotions. This is all the more surprising, if one takes the minimal instrumentation of dobro and piano into account, which would feel more at home with intimate folk sessions on the porch. Tracks: Dis / Take Another Five / Winterland / Moster / Music Box / Rafferty / We Hide And Seek / Hummingbird

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