Great review in british Jazz Journal! Read the whole thing here:
Having sparkled on Daniel Herskedal’s exquisite Slow Eastbound Train and demonstrated a more exploratory side with inside-outside duo Albatrosh, Eyolf Dale matches his phenomenal dexterity. Wolf Valley is actually his fifth album as a leader, and it follows in the footsteps of little big bands led by Edward Vesala, Jon Balke and more recently Christian Wallumrød. The evocative title serves as both a literal translation of the leader’s name and a splendidly apt description of its somewhat folkloric soundscapes, and packed with drama and colour, the music arrives with a considerable impact from the get-go.
Furet is a near-perfect opening gambit, its languid gait and dreamy vibes creating atmospheric suspense which draws the listener in before Dale cuts loose with a cleverly constructed solo. The simple melody of Fernanda is cunningly superimposed iver a repeating minimalist figure, while the devastatingly beautiful Shostachoral reworks an organ choral from Dale’s solo album Hometown Interludes (Curling Legs, 2013). Nilssen’s busy interjections cajole the pianist into another energetic flight on the quasi-Americana of Ban Joe, and the rasping Kompen makes oddly metered Sideways his own. The neoclassical Teglstein sees the whole ensemble improvising around a written piano part, before Dale’s partner in crime André Roligheten displays his rambunctious side on the chugging grooves of The Creek. Silent Ways is by complete contrast a fathomless pool of reflection, and The Walk closes the set with a fittingly optimistic forward view. There’s a huge pool of talent in the contemporary Scandinavian scene, and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that Dale is amongst the very best.