On “Nordub”, Grammy-winning Reggae legends Sly & Robbie team up with Norwegian Jazz innovator Nils Petter Molvaer to create a unique sound panorama, spanning the colourful atmospheres of Norwegian Jazz and the energetic grooves of Jamaica. Together with Eivind Aarset on guitars and Vladislav Delay on electronics, this is a band of musical soulmates, beyond all boundaries of genre. During a first tour in 2016 they received worldwide attention for their new project.
Yet, the successful as innovative project just came together by sheer good fortune: Even though they had liked each other’s music for years, it was a coincidence that Mark van den Bergh – a friend of Sly & Robbie – ran into Nils Petter Molvaer at Java Jazz Festival.
“I got to know Mark at Java Jazz Festival in 2014,” says Nils Petter Molvaer. I told him that I’d been a fan of Sly & Robbie since the 80s, when they were releasing music with their Reggae band Black Uhuru. I like them for their creative unrest. They are innovators in so many ways, combining Dancehall, Soul, Hip Hop, Reggae and many other influences, and collaborating with such great musicians as Sting, No Doubt, Ben Harper and Carlos Santana. Mark told me that Sly & Robbie were great fans of my music as well, and the idea to work together was born. A few months later, in July 2015, we met at a festival in a little village in France, where we were supposed to play a concert together, though we’d never played together before.”
Robbie Shakespeare remembers: “It was totally crazy. Ever since I first heard Nils’ music in the late 90s, I’ve been fascinated by his atmospheric fusion of styles and his unparalleled trumpet playing. Now we were supposed to play together, though we’d never met before. But when I met Nils for the first time in this little village in France, I immediately liked him. He was cracking jokes and had back pain from the long trip there, just like me, so that created something. It was a great concert, in the end, that enabled us to go far beyond our comfort zones and to discover new ways of creating music.”
After the success of the initial concert in France, the new “band” decided to continue its collaboration and to go on tour in 2016. During the tour several new songs were created and Sly & Robbie, Nils Petter Molvaer, Eivind Aarset and Vladislav Delay were ready to record their first album together in Oslo: “Nordub”.