Featuring drummer extraordinaire Keith Carlock (Steely Dan, Toto, John Legend, Sting) and multi-instrumentalist Jacob Holm-Lupo (White Willow, The Opium Cartel, Donner) as well as up-and-coming guitarist Stian Larsen and keyboardists Brynjar Dambo (White Willow) and Bill Bressler, Solstein is a project that melds the groovier side of fusion with elements of prog and funk.
The project was born after Holm-Lupo and Carlock collaborated with legendary guitarist Georg Wadenius on a track for Holm-Lupo’s Donner project. The collaboration worked so well that the pair decided to work together again on a whole album.
Solstein is not your typical 2020s fusion affair. A lot of inspiration has been taken from the funkier, more melodic end of the spectrum, with the band name-dropping The Crusaders, Idris Muhammed, early Bob James and 70s Herbie Hancock. Given some of the member’s prog backgrounds, there are also echoes of the jazzier side of prog, like Camel, Happy the Man and some of the Canterbury scene bands. Holm-Lupo and Carlock’s shared love of Steely Dan also shines through in a number of tracks.
More than anything, though, Solstein is a playground for the musicians, where everyone was given free reins to do whatever they felt the music needed. If it put a smile on everyone’s face, it was deemed right. The result is an album that is accessible yet adventurous, colourful, groovy and engaging.