Best records of 2019

Skarbø Skulekorps
self titled (Hubro Music)

Øyvind Skarbø doesn’t just think outside the box. With this drummer/composer, there is no box.

Two years ago when a member of Øyvind Skarbø’s trio 1982 decided to leave the band after 11 years, Skarbø had no idea what a gift it would end up being. At the time, the drummer/bandleader felt unsettled, but it set Skarbø on a path of re-examination and work that resulted in Skarbø Skulekorps – a seven member unit – and their first recorded outing.

The album – Skarbø Skulekorps – an ambitious nine tracks that make up a double LP (and single CD) – is a culmination of much dedication to a musician’s craft. Not held back by any constraints of musical preconceptions, Skarbø is not afraid to step off the cliff into a genre-less wonderland and take chances.