Paal Nilssen-Love

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Paal Nilssen-Love
At the Empty Bottle, Chicago, 24 September 2006
At the Empty Bottle, Chicago, 24 September 2006
Background information
Born (1974-12-24) 24 December 1974 (age 48)
Molde, Møre og Romsdal, Norway
GenresJazz, Free jazz, Free improvisation
Occupation(s)Musician, composer

Paal Nilssen-Love (born 24 December 1974) is a Norwegian drummer and composer in the jazz, free jazz and free improvisation genres.[1]

Early life[edit]

Nilssen-Love was born in Molde, Norway.[2] His parents ran a jazz club in Stavanger, and he learned to play drums on the kit owned by his father.[2] As a teenager, he played with free-jazz reedsman Frode Gjerstad, which was the start of a long musical relationship.[2] He did musical studies at Sund folkehøgskole 1993-94. In 1994, during studies on the Jazz program at the Trondheim Musikkonservatorium (1994–96), he formed the band Element which musically became a platform for several other groups with bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten and pianist Håvard Wiik and led to collaborations with Iain Ballamy and Chris Potter.[1] Nilssen-Love also did a little composing in the mid-1990s.[2]

Later life and career[edit]

Paal Nilssen-Love

Relocating to Oslo in 1996, Nilssen-Love took part in the forming of bands such as Håkon Kornstad Trio, The Quintet and Frode Gjerstad Trio, as well as self-initiated projects.[citation needed] In 1999, Nilssen-Love played his first solo concert.[citation needed]

Continuing, "by the early 2000s, Nilssen-Love had launched an international career, playing alongside Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and American reed player Ken Vandermark, among others."[2] He has worked with his trio Vandermark and Ab Baars, the bands Large Unit (a big band, with about 14 members, which he has led and composed for since 2013),[2][3] School Days, The Thing, Scorch Trio, Territory Band, FME, and various duo projects such as with reedmen Peter Brötzmann and Vandermark guitarist Terrie Hessels (The Ex), saxophonist John Butcher, organist Nils Henrik Asheim, and noise experimentalist Lasse Marhaug.[1][4]

In 2014, Nilssen-Love decided to leave the band Atomic to concentrate on Large Unit and projects involving more improvising.[5]



Solo drum recordings[edit]

  • 2001: Sticks & Stones (Sofa)
  • 2005: 27 Years Later (Utech)
  • 2010: Miró (PNL)
  • 2012: Chiapaneca (Bocian)
  • 2015: News from the Junk Yard (PNL)


  1. ^ a b c "Nilssen-Love, Paal Biography - Norsk Musikkinformasjon". (in Norwegian)
  2. ^ a b c d e f Meyer, Bill (15 March 2018). "Q&A with Paal Nilssen-Love: In a Natural Way". DownBeat. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  3. ^ "Friday June 22, [2018,] 9:00 PM: Paal Nilssen-Love's Large Unit". Elastic Arts. 2018. Retrieved 2018-04-09.
  4. ^ "Stressa ned med intens kontorkonsert - Kultur og underholdning". 6 September 2011. (in Norwegian)
  5. ^ Margasak, Peter (July 2015) "Atomic – Lucidity". Down Beat. p. 52.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Recipient of the Kongsberg Jazz Award
Succeeded by
Preceded by Recipient of the Buddyprisen
Succeeded by