Paal Nilssen-Love (N) - drums & percussion


Nilssen-Love did his first solo concert already in 1999 when Blå engaged him as the opening act for two British musicians. A 20-minute long solo was produced and the immense kick it gave, launched Nilssen-Love to investigate the concept of solo drums. Since that event he has done several soloconcerts, in Sweden and Norway, at festivals and clubs, and the shows have been described as very intense. He explains that performing solo is a setting he finds both intriguing and challenging. The feeling of not having any one else to rely upon or relate to is something that gives an enormous rush. It is a self-created situation where the sense of time is completely gone. "Everyone should try doing some solo work, just to feel who you really are and what gets you going".

When playing solo, Nilssen-Love uses an expanded drumkit with added bongodrums, blocks, bells, cymbals in all sizes and shapes, also sticks of all kinds, as well as a bow.
The improvisations created may include time and rhythm, though these elements are well disguised. It´s more about texture, timbre, density, dynamics and frequencies making the music flow in all different directions. The level of energy is extremely high and the music is often experienced as both powerful and capturing in all its levels.

After the last show at Molde Jazzfestival where Nilssen-Love was "artist in residence", Dan Qulette from Down Beat, concluded his article saying:

Nilssen-Love’s best was saved for the last night when he commanded the stage at the Forum for a solo set. He was like a curious kid exploring new ways to get his drums to speak. He hand-drummed, brushed, played prepared drums using such objects as sticks, fabric and small inverted cymbals the size of CDs, bowed his cymbals, drove into turbulence and slowed into hurricane eyes. His week at Molde proved a revelation: Nilssen-Love is one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz.

Whether he's carefully dragging a bow across a cymbal, or investigating the sonics that result from the exploitation of a jazz kit, or just measuring the echoes that arise from the judicious use of wood blocks and snares, his aim is to offer as much music as possible. Note that's music, not percussion music.
Ken Waxman, Jazzweekly, review of the CD "Sticks & Stones"

This guy knows how to express himself through his instrument and he has a great technique to play it. I find very interesting the difference between all the tracks here, some of them more complex, some of them less but always imaginative and creative., review of the CD "Sticks & Stones"

Paal Nilssen-Love

27 Years later

Utech 024


Paal Nilssen-Love

Sticks & Stones

Utech 024



Atomic School Days


Butcher/Nilssen-Love Duo



Frode Gjerstad Trio

Gustafsson/Nilsson-Love Duo

Marhaug/Nilssen-Love Duo


Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet

School Days

Scorch Trio


Sten Sandell Trio

Territory Band

The Thing

Townhouse Orchestra

Two Bands and a Legend

Vandermark/Nilssen-Love Duo

Yagi/Brötzmann/Nilssen-Love Trio