Following his two solid studio discs and the beautiful Christmas project with Samuel Ljungblahd, Ole Børud is back with a fantastic new album of sophisticated, jazzy grooves called STEPPING UP. The voice, the arrangements, the production, everything you love about Ole Børud music has come together again on this glorious new collection. From the downbeat of the soulful opening song “Think Twice”, you won’t have to as this highly infectious track breaks it down as you push play. The first single “Maybe” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-uBLqSNChA will hook you with its breezy, melodic horn & vocal arrangements.
The chord progressions, harmonies and overall feel on “Uptown Citizen” will remind you of how good music can make you instantly feel. Add to that the reggae swing of “Givin’ Myself A Break”, the "Steely vibe" on “Keep This World Alive” & the energetic “Everywhere I Go” and you’ve got a dangerously live wire. It’s such a pleasure to hear the influences of classic bands like Steely Dan, Pages, Chicago, etc., tastefully blended in as a part of the extraordinarily original hybrid that only Ole Børud can create.
The compositions on this album seem to have more space and the songs breathe within the arrangements. Other stand-out tracks include “Stepping Up” & "Turn Me Around”. All of the music is composed by Ole Børud with the words by Børud and lyricist Jackie Kavan. The musicians are Ruben Dalen: Drums/Percussion/Keys, Frode Mangen: Rhodes/Wurlitzer/Clavinet/Piano/Hammond/synthesizers/Keyboard Solos, Jens Petter Antonsen: Trumpet, Børge-Are Halvorsen: Saxophones, Even Skatrud: Trombone and Ole Børud: Vocals, Guitars/Bass/Keys.
With his brilliant sense of structure, melody, musicianship and message, Ole Børud continues to amaze and fulfill the promise of his previous work.
Scott Gross at Inside Musicast