Bringing a thoroughly contemporary sound to the piano and keyboards, Bugge Wesseltoft (b. 1 February 1964, Porsgrunn, Norway) made a huge impact in his homeland during the 90s. After that, he toured internationally, working in both jazz and rock contexts. In the early 90s he was a member of Arild Andersen's band, and played on Jan Garbarek's Molde Canticle, a commission from the Molde Jazz Festival. With both of these artists, he blended in well with the postmodern concepts of ECM Records. Other artists with whom he worked during these years were guitarists Terje Rypdal and Jon Eberson, and singer Sidsel Endresen. With the latter, he was on her commissioned project for the Molde Jazz Festival, which was recorded for ECM. His own commissioned work, A Little War Story, was performed at the 1993 Vossa Jazz Festival. In 1995, Wesseltoft formed his own band, New Conception Of Jazz, and the Jazzland record label, the first album from which was awarded a Spellemannprisen (the Norwegian equivalent of a Grammy) in the following year. In the mid-90s he toured and recorded with Billy Cobham, Endresen and Garbarek again, appearing on the latter's Rites.
During these years and on to the end of the decade, his music found an audience among those who inhabited Norway's techno and dance music scenes. This connection with the club world led to the 2000 release of Jazzland Remixed, which enhanced his reputation even more with that audience. Firmly committed to electronic music, Wesseltoft completely eschewed acoustic forms and was just as adamant that he would not be tied by genre boundaries, bringing hip-hop and other contemporary dance music forms into his concept of contemporary jazz. On 1998's Sharing, he raised some eyebrows by his extensive use of club DJs and scratchers.
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