"The title of Israel-born, Oslo-based saxophonist Guy Sion's debut symbolizes his state of mind, having been away from home, moving from one place to another in the last decade—leaving Israel for music studies in Amsterdam, then moving to New York and finally settling in Oslo. Sion's original compositions reflect this long winding road— modern American jazz with a taste of calm, Nordic lyricism that involves both American and Norwegian musicians.
Sion tends to write well-crafted and linear compositions that stress flowing melodic lines and his warm sound. All these compositions are arranged around the emphatic and tight interplay between Sion and guitarist Bjørn Vidar Solli, who co-produced the album with Sion. Solli's tone and the manner in which he articulates Sion's musical ideas owe much to the influential sound and attack of guitarist Pat Metheny, almost as if he was intending to replicates the sophisticated harmonic structures that Metheny and his close collaborator, keyboardist Lyle Mays, have explored. Still, Solli's enthusiasm charges Sion's reasoned compositions with a needed sense of urgency.
Two compositions stand out. The touching "Brother 5," where Sion outlines the gentle theme on soprano sax, later elaborated beautifully by pianist Erlend Slettevoll (a member of The Core), before Sion, Slettevoll and Solli repeat the theme together. "Oslo's Blues" again emphasizes Sion's gift for beautiful melodic lines, here highlighted as a duet between Sion and Slettevoll.
Away feature's Sion's rich vision as a melodic composer, supported by a band of experienced musicians. "
The feeling of being away, on the way, from one place to another has been following me for the last 10 years. When my parents said their goodbyes at the Tel Aviv airport in August of 2002 none of us really knew whether it was for good or just temporary. I guess time will tell. For now I am just away. Several of the definitions of AWAY at the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (“on the way, from this or that place, in another direction, out of existence, by a long distance or interval”) describe something in the feeling of living abroad or migrating to a new country. This album is inspired by that feeling.
'Away' was composed during the fall of 2011 and was recorded in January 2012.
The musicians on the album are:
Guy Sion (NO) - Alto Sax (Soprano on track 5)
Bjørn Vidar Solli (NO)- Guitar
Erlend Slettevoll (NO) - Piano
Phil Donkin (US) - Bass
Jon Wikan (US) - Drums