Album title

Hoff Ensemble
Jan Gunnar Hoff, piano
Anders Jormin, bass
Audun Kleive, drums

Catalogue #




Disc 1
Hybrid SACD
Stereo DSD
Disc 2

Pure Audio Blu-ray
2.0 LPCM 192/24
5.1 DTS HDMA 192/24
7.1.4 Auro-3D 96kHz
7.1.4 Dolby Atmos 48kHz
mShuttle: MQA + MP3
Region: ABC - worldwide

Release date
April 2018
Recording date
September 2017
Sofienberg Church, Norway
Original source
DXD (352.8kHz/24bit)

POLARITY — an acoustic jazz project

"My main goal is to create a specific identity for each album I make. This time I chose to involve Anders Jormin and Audun Kleive, two of Scandinavia's finest jazz artists. The result is Polarity, an album based on both new and older compositions of mine, recorded in a unique acoustic setting" — Jan Gunnar Hoff 2018

Recording sessions: Facebook Photo Album

Immersive Audio is a sonic sculpture that you can literally move around and relate to spatially; surrounded by music you can move about in the aural space and choose angles, vantage points and positions. Dolby Atmos and the Auro-3D on this Pure Audio Blu-ray delivers a new standard in immersion, fully enveloping the audience in a cocoon of life-like audio. Recorded in discrete 7.1.4 at DXD resolution.

"Mitt hovedmål er at hver utgivelse får sin egen spesifikke identitet. Denne gangen valgte jeg å involvere Anders Jormin og Audun Kleive, to av Skandinavias fremste jazzmusikere. Resultatet er Polarity, et album basert på egne komposisjoner av nyere og eldre dato, innspilt i en unik akustisk setting" — Jan Gunnar Hoff 2018

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POLARITY has been conceived as a cohesive experience where the compositions themselves, the moments of spontaneous inspiration during performance and the natural sound world of the church acoustic all affect the final result. 

"The Elder" was composed in film director Ingmar Bergman's study on the island of Fårö. The ambience in Bergman's house and the view of the unending expanse of the Baltic Sea induced in me a sense of melancholy but also an almost ecstatic mood that resulted in what is really a homage to the legendary director.

The title track "Polarity" started out as an improvisation which I was working into a finished melody. We supplemented the ensemble’s palette of sounds by introducing an analogue synthesizer that grows in intensity, its sound filling the room with autonomous power. 

"Justice" is my emotional response to the experience of witnessing officialdom intervene in a family situation and how this affected all involved. "Innocence" and "Within" both have their take-off point in acutely vulnerable emotional conditions, where to show weakness can be experienced as a sign of strength. "Sacred" is based on a simple major and minor tonality, with the synthesizer and the coll'arco bass line central elements.

The character of "Euphoria" is elated – the spontaneous improvisation between the piano and drums driving the melody to a no-holds-barred level of energy. "Beginning", with its minimalistic calm, is in marked contrast; dark melancholy and gloom find release in a spirit of reconciliation. "Pathway" is a set of variations on a series of chords; the variations unfold with the piano and double bass taking on different roles as the piece develops. "Home" was originally composed as a backdrop to Knut Hamsun's poem "I ungdommens vår" (In the Spring of Youth) but has been fleshed out to a trio ballad. 

The idea to work on a project for a trio came to me a few years ago, but it is only recently that the idea has really begun to take form. The choice of musicians was not difficult, with Audun Kleive and Anders Jormin both having long track records on the Scandinavian jazz scene, and both still eager to explore and energize the established trio format. This is the first time the three of us have made a recording like this together, vacating the usual studio setting in favour of the acoustics of a church. My main goal is to create a specific identity for each album and to make the music come alive.

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— Follow up to GRAMMY-nominated album "Quiet Winter Night" (2012)

— Related to Jan Gunnar Hoff's solo albums "Stories" (2016), "Quiet Light" (2014) and "Living" (2013).

— Audun Kleive and Anders Jormin have contributed on numerous ECM-recordings with a.o. Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, Charles Lloyd, Django Bates a.o.

— Produced by Morten Lindberg with 32 American GRAMMY-nominations since 2006, 24 of these in categories Best Engineered Album, Best Surround Sound Album and Producer of the Year.

— Jan Gunnar Hoff is acknowledged one of Norway's leading jazz pianists, collaborating with international artists like Alex Acuña, Mike Stern, Pat Metheny and Maria Joao.

— Jan Gunnar Hoff has released 15 albums and composed 250 works. His album "Fly North" was nominated for the Norwegian Grammy, Spellemannpris. In 2014 Hoff received the Buddy-award, the highest distinction in Norwegian Jazz and was appointed an official Steinway & Sons Artist.

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ARTWORK These images can be used in editorial context to the products they are related to, with appropriate credit of artwork and photographer.

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Artwork Morten Lindberg / Front Cover Photo Trym Bergsmo / Session photos Morten Lindberg / Artist photo _ / Stage Layout _