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Mean Steel

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Finito Bacalao Records - 2019

Mean Steel is a tough band that plays tough music by tough composers. The band has also got a tough band name. The band consists of Hans-Urban Andersson (cello / saxophone / clarinet / drums) and Ola Asdahl Rokkones (saxophones / double saxophone / drums). Mean Steel plays music that is written for them by predominantly northern Norwegian composers. Their total lack of insight towards their own musical limits, combined with a fear of saying “no” to composers who is making sport out of testing limits towards the impossible, has given the two musicians close to acrobatic challenges in playing multiple instruments simultaneously - at times almost like a quartet made of four half musicians.

Hans-Urban Andersson, a part of LiNN - the Regional Musicians Scheme in Northern Norway through “Musikk i Nordland”, has his background from the Swedish dance band Curt Jürgens. They were frequently at the top of the Swedish music charts in the 70s. That´s how he managed to save up enough money to buy a cello so that he could study at the Music Conservatory in Gothenburg, Sweden. Already back then he performed his first duet with saxophone and cello; with Stan Getz, the world famous saxophone player, when he was visiting the jazz festival in Halmstad.

It would take close to another 40 years until Hans-Urban again would join a new duet with saxophone and cello. This time with Ola Asdahl Rokkones on saxophones. Ola is an independent musician living in Tromsø, making his living playing both classical, jazz and folk music. At one moment he is playing a gig in a far away fjord, the next he is a soloist with a big symphony orchestra. He has released 7 albums ranging over a wide spectrum of genres. In his spare time Ola likes to experiment on new ways to play saxophone.

Left channel: Hans-Urban Andersson, playing cello, baritone saxophone, clarinet, drums and vocals
Right channel: Ola Asdahl Rokkones, playing tenor and baritone saxophones, saxophone without mouthpiece, double saxophone and drums

"Scener fra et nabolag" (track 2) also features tape.


Ola Asdahl Rokkones / Fabio MastrangelO
The St.Petersburg Northern Sinfonia


Norwegian Saxophone

LAWO Classics - 2018

Norwegian saxophone is the first classical album from the versatile artist Ola Asdahl Rokkones, containing three world premiere recordings. Recorded in the legendary LENDOK Studios in Saint Petersburg, together with conductor Fabio Mastrangelo and The St. Petersburg Northern Sinfonia, this is a unique release of new Norwegian music for saxophone and orchestra.

“The Tale of Taliesin” by Martin Romberg (2009), “Bør” by Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen (2014) and “Un rêve Norvégien” by Kjell Habbestad (2002/2015) have all been commissioned by Rokkones. Although the composers have been inspired by literary works, the music showcases the classical saxophone in three very different musical surroundings. With the saxophone as a narrator, we explore the ancient Celtic legend about Taliesin in a large orchestral work, the existentialistic poem “Bør” by Stein Mehren in a contemporary and experimental soundscape, and finally the famous visionary poem “Draumkvedet” where folkloristic elements fuse with a modern classical orchestral treatment.

Following a long and twisted path, this recording is the result of a process that has taken many years – for Rokkones' part almost half a lifetime, as he commissioned the first work in 2001 at the age of 18.

Ola Asdahl Rokkones - alto saxophone
Fabio Mastrangelo - conductor
The St. Petersburg Northern Sinfonia

Find the album on iTunes here.

Find the booklet here.

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Autumn Sessions

Finito Bacalao Records - 2018

With five stylistically different musicians, from four different European countries, people could be wondering what to expect. Yet, the music is melodic and thriving, with a strong jazz core. It combines key elements from both Norwegian, Dutch, Swedish and French jazz. Brought together in 2011, not only through music, but also through the fascination for Northern Norway, Mike del Ferro Quintet is indeed an unusual project. We hope you will enjoy this playful meeting between five friends, where we get to know the musicians both as instrumentalists and composers.

Mike del Ferro - piano
Dan Johansson - trumpet
Ola Asdahl Rokkones - tenor saxophone
Dag Okstad - double bass
Anne Paceo - drums

Find the album on iTunes here.

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Finito Bacalao Records - 2018

Although it is far from Northern Norway to Rio de Janeiro, the band Marit Sandvik & Nova Onda has embraced the Brazilian music tradition and made it their own. Since 2013 the six musicians have developed their own sound, based on both jazz and MPB - Música Popular Brasileira. With its exquisite melodies and clever rhythms incorporated with extended harmonies, the Brazilian music combine in an irresistible potion that is both emotionally and intellectually appealing.

Marit Sandvik - vocal
Øystein Norvoll - guitar
Ola Asdahl Rokkones - saxophone
Eirik Fjelde - keys
Morten Steene - bass
Simen Iversen Vangen - drums and percussion

Find the album on iTunes here.

Find reviews and quotes about the album here.

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I denne søte juletid

TerjeB Production - 2017

Christmas jazz for tenor saxophone and organ. The music is a compilation of both modern and traditional Christmas songs, but in new and original arrangements. The two improvising musicians create a damped landscape, where elements from folk music and jazz are blended into popular and well-known Christmas melodies from Norway and Scandinavia. In the recording, the musicians are utilizing the acoustic potential of the church room, and the dynamic spectre made possible by combining the organ and the saxophone.

Ola Asdahl Rokkones - tenor saxophone
Terje Baugerød - organ

Find the album on iTunes here.

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Finito Bacalao Records - 2013

An unusual blend of Naga poetry and Arctic freejazz, this release is a fresh perspective to playful improvised music. The acclaimed poet Easterine Kire sees Northern Norway through Naga eyes, coming as she does from faraway and misty, mountain-topped Nagaland, a region in the North-East of India. The two jazz cats Ola Asdahl Rokkones and Jon-Eirik Boska relentlessly counterpoint the poems, creating unexpected contexts and sounds - like cats playing with a ball of yarn, or perhaps the other way around. Ola Asdahl Rokkones the saxophone, saxophone parts and one cymbal, while Jon-Eirik Boska treats the kitchen utensils!

Easterine Kire - readings/vocals
Ola Asdahl Rokkones - saxophone and parts, 1 cymbal
Jon-Eirik Boska - drums and percussion

Find the album on iTunes here.


 Sonora Cimarrón

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Son del Ecuador

IndiGoBoom - 2012

Founded in 2004 in Oslo, Norway, by the Ecuadorian percussionist, composer and arranger Tito Guevara, Sonora Cimarrón debuted with Son Del Ecuador, a recording featuring ten top-quality acoustic numbers together with the Ecuadorian vocalist Carlos "El Negro” "Paz as a guest artist.

From the orchestral format we can see that Sonora Cimarrón is not a conventional salsa orchestra: Instead of piano, the line-up includes as well as a horn-section with trombones and saxophone. This gives recording a special character.

Tito Guevara - congas and percussion
Carlos “El Negro” Paz - vocals
Torkild Sandnes - double bass
Torbjørn Sandvik - tres and flamenco guitar
Ola Asdahl Rokkones- saxophones and flute
Vidar Bråthen - trombone
Halvor Voldstad - trombone
Anders Lea Karlskås - trombon
Yannik Hartig - timbales
Rafael Ortega - guira
Vicente Mañet - coro
Eduardo Cedeño - timbales
Fredy Molina - cajon peruano

Find the album on iTunes here.

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Pirate Bay

Finito Bacalao Records - 2010

Pirate jazz from Northern-Norway, stripped of respect for genres, or juggling with several at the same time. Including elements from indie rock, nu-jazz, r&b, free improvisation and nordic jazz, this album was to become one of the most original expressions from Northern Norway at the time. It challenges at the borderlines of jazz, with original compositions in a solid band sound. The album brings the listener on a wonderful voyage through the universe of DripP, a universe that contains everything from beautiful soundscapes, heavy grooves, indie rock with distorted saxophone and drones, to lyrical improvisation.

Ola Asdahl Rokkones - saxophone
Jardar Alexander Westvik - guitar
Torje Helland Graff - double bass
Jon-Eirik Boska - drums

Find the album on iTunes here.

Find reviews and quotes about the album here.