audun kleive



  • Audun Kleive

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AUDUN KLEIVE’s reputation within the jazz community can best be described as true royalty..  His musicianship as a drummer and percussionist is highly respected among his peers, has gained him an established reputation as a vital force in Norwegian and international jazz, and he is a source of inspiration for an entire younger generation of jazz musicians. “I am convinced that the world needs alternatives,” Kleive states about his artistic vision, continuing, “honest musical attempts that further develop the great heritage from our planet’s composers…music is one of the last possible free places left in the world, and I aim to show that art form my respect to my last breath.”


His integrity and artistry is reflected as a participant in well over 100-plus recordings, he has provided the rhythmic foundations for such varied musicians as Terje Rypdal, Jon Balke, Charles Lloyd, and Marilyn Mazur. Voted by the Norwegian Jazz Musician’s Union in 1989 as Jazz Musician of The Year, he has continued to be a highly valued artist in constant demand for other projects or as a featured performer.




Son of organist Kristoffer Kleive and brother of organist Iver Kleive, Audun Kleive began his career playing drums in various bands in his hometown of Skien, Norway.  As a kid he played snaredrum in different marching bands - a common thing in Norway for many kids. Here his teacher was a violinist. He also took lessons in classical piano his early years, and played orchestral percussion in the local symphony-orchestra.


At some point around the age of 16 he was picked up by Guttorm Guttormsen and Ole-Johnny Michaelsen, two local jazzmusicians. An organ-trio was formed. Sax,drums and B3. Soon after he joined a summer-course in Søgne, Norway, where he met Radka Toneff and Arild Andersen -they had a totally improvised encounter one late night in a library - a revelation that forever changed Auduns life.





After moving to Oslo to study at the School of Music (Musikkhøyskolen) in 1980, he joined various jazz/rock bands such as Lotus (1981-83) and Oslo 13 (1981-84), eventually making his recording debut with the album Anti-therapy (1983).  His talent soon placed him among the most sought-after drummers in Oslo, and he continued 1983 with the Anne-Marie Giørtz Quintet on the festival route, and on that artist’s album release Breaking Out (1983).  Also that year, Kleive joined the Frode Alnæs/Nils Petter Molvær quartet, simultaneously also appearing with Sidsel Endresen during 1983-84.   


He has performed with the groups AHA/Extended Nose, with whom he recorded Keep Nose In Front (1984), Jamaha (1986) and Slow But Sudden, langsam aber plötzlich (1988-90).  He participated also in the Brødrene Balke Etno Funk group, the Knut Riisnæs Quartet (1984), Terje Rypdals trio The Chasers also in 1984 (with releases in 1985, 86, 88 og 94), and the Circulasione Totale Orchestra (1986-89), releasing Accent in 1987. In 1991 he also performed together with Nils Petter Molvær, Bugge Wesseltoft and Bjørn Kjellemyr and also composed, arranged and performed the album "Music for Men and Machines (1992) together with Jon Eberson.


Continuing with Oslo 13 he recorded Off Balance in 1987 and Live 1993, as well as touring internationally and recording with Trio 87 from 1987-90.  He has performed or recorded with many international artists, notably the Swedish on Swedish group Entra Live records , Jon Eberson Trio (Stash 1986), Jon Eberson/Sidsel Endresen (1987), Jan Gunnar Hoff (releases 1993/95/96 and 2003), Marilyn Mazur's Future Song (1994/98/2002/03), Gunnar Andreas Berg (1996), Bugge Wesseltoft (New conception of jazz 1995-96), Bendik Hofseth (1997) and Olga Konkova (Going with the flow,1997). 





From 1990 to 2003 he had a fruitful and productive collaboration with Jon Balke and Per Jørgensen (JøKleBa), recording On and On (1991), Jøkleba! (1992) og Jøkleba Live (1996), also joining Jon Balke's Magnetic North ensemble for touring and recording between 1993 and 2002. His playing is also featured on many ECM recordings, notably Kyanos for Jon Balke, Small Labyrinths for Marilyn Mazur's Future Song, Nonsentration for Jon Balke/Oslo 13, and Chaser / Blue / The Singles Collection / If Mountains Could Sing for Terje Rypdal/The Chasers, among others.


Not limiting himself only to jazz, his involvement with other musicians such as Kari Bremnes not only featured his skills as a drummer, but also displays his considerable talent as an arranger ("Mit vilde hjerte" og "Blaa Krukke"). He also performed with Bremnes and Kjetil Bjørnstad on their "Løsrivelse" album, and produced the critically praised techno-jazz band Krøyt, Sub album. Co-owner of the studio Audiopol, he has produced and engineered a pile of both young and mature artists like Bushmans Revenge, Puma, Hans Ulrik, Mike Stern, Jan Gunnar Hoff, Krøyt, Chili Vanilla, Petter Wettre, Lord Kelvin, Transjoik, Bol, Kirsti Huke Quartet, Klaus Holm Kollektif, Dingobats, Solid, Sidsel Endresen, Magnetic North to name but a few.

In 1996 he was invited to Copenhagen, as the only Norwegian jazz musician to perform for that year’s European City of Culture festivities, indeed an esteemed honor.  Shortly thereafter, in 1998, he received the Klart Svar (“Clear Answer”) Award from the Kongsberg International Jazz Festival.




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After the album "Music for Men and Machines" 1992, his first solo-effort was finally realized in 1997, in the album Bitt (Jazzland). Playing most of the instruments himself, Kleive’s vision of chaotic beats and rough musical structures were bound by intricate rhythms with a clear progression, all wrapped in the pure joy of musical experience.  On its release, the album received unanimous praise by Norwegian music critics, with one newspaper hailing it as “…the ultimate in the hip jazz scene” and “grooves without comparison, and tones that pull you into the surrealistic landscape… one of Europe’s foremost musicians!” 





In 1998, forming his own band comprising of Ståle Storløkken (synths), Christian Wallumrød (keyboards), Arve Henriksen (trumpet), Jan Bang (live-sampling), and Geir Østensjø (sound design), Kleive began recording his second solo effort.. “During the recording of Generator X we challenged ourselves to go into our hidden visions and try to fully exploit our instrumental possibilities. I wanted us to leave behind accepted formats and let intuition and ears decide the direction we pursued.” 


Generator X”, (2000, Jazzland), is non-compromising to the existing standards of improvised jazz, and creates a new pathway to explore the form.

This album firmly established Kleive as an important innovator in contemporary new jazz music.  The UK Milk Factory wrote in their review of the album:

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“This second album … is a further proof that the connection between jazz and electronic music is stronger everyday. (The album is) more contained, evolving … following the strolls of the musicians, obviously at ease with each other. The symbiosis is perfect, almost palpable … powerful, passionate moments of pure electro-jazz.”




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Kleives third soloalbum "Ohmagoddabl" was released May –04.  “On the new album, I chose to include elements of composition which I utilize today as well as some methods that I used on my solo album Bitt.  These are lines that are woven into each other in a continuous stream, forming intuitive and unheard of progression, almost as a living being that the whole collective is responsible for birthing… My band has a large amount of creative freedom.”


Audun Kleive’s creativity and individualistic expression provides a new shot of energy into the jazz arena.  An energy that infects the listener and demands that you plug into the new adventurous aural world of Audun Kleive. 




Performed in duo and trioformats with Nils Petter Molvær in well over 100 concerts around the world between 2007 and 2010, together with Eivind Aarset/Stian Westerhus.

Then established several new constellations:

A duo with saxophonist Petter Wettre

A trio with Arve Henriksen and Helge Nordbakken

A trio with Morten Quenild and Anders Tveit

Scheen Jazzorkester, a bigband-project with musicians from Telemark, Norway

His solo (alone on stage) project, material emerging from his recent album "release"

Recorded with doom-metal group "Fester"

Initiated recording of new soloproject with Ronnie LeTekrø (TNT) and Niko Eilertsen (Big Bang/Elephant 9) still in progress

Commission work in churces with his brother Iver Kleive

AND: Jøkleba is up and running again!

Future indeed looking bright ;-)

A Selected Discography (in chronological order)


1983

Anne Marie Giørtz: Breaking out

Hot Club 9

1983

Oslo 13: Anti-therapy

Odin 4007

1984

AHA: Keep nose in front

Hot Club 14

1985

Terje Rypdal: Bratislava Jazz days (1 track)

Opus 9115 1810

1985

Terje Rypdal : Chaser

ECM 1303

1986

Jon Eberson: Stash

Odin 4019

1986

Jamaha: Extended nose

Cir. Totale 8602

1987

Donelian/Iversen/Kleive: Trio -87

Odin 4024

1987

Terje Rypdal & The Chasers: Blue

ECM 1386

1987

Oslo 13: Off balance

Odin 4022

1987

J.Eberson/S.Endresen: Pigs and poetry

CBS 460457-2

1987

Kari Bremnes: Mit vilde hjerte

Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD71

1988

Anders Jormin: Eight pieces

Dragon 306

1988

Terje Rypdal: The singles collection

ECM 1383

1989

Extended nose: Slow but sudden, langsam aber plötzlich

Odin 4031

1989

Kari Bremnes: Blå Krukke

Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD86

1989

Entra: Live lights

Timeless 320

1989

Jazz Out of Norway (1 track)

Odin Nj 4028-2

1990

Sveriges Radiojazzgrupp: From Fasching with love (1 track)

Phono Suecia 65

1990

Jon Balke: Nonsentration

ECM 1445

1990

Per Husby: Notes for nature

Odin 4033

1990

Marilyn Mazur Future song

verBra 2105

1991

David Murray/Pierre Dørge: The jazzpar price

Enja 7031

1991

Entra: Ballet

LJ Rec 5205

1991

Palisanderkvartetten: Shaken..not stirred

Curl Legs 06

1991

Balke/Jørgensen/Kleive: On and on

Odin 4034

1992

Balke/Jørgensen/Kleive: Jøkleba

Norsk Pl. 32

1992

Anne Karin Kaasa: Solefallstime

Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD117

1992

T.L.Væring/F.Lundin: People, places, times & faces

Storyville 4184

1992

Jan Gunnar Hoff : Syklus

Odin 4046

1992

A.Kleive/J.Eberson: Music for men & machines

Curl Legs 04

1992

Oslo 13: Oslo 13 live

Curl Legs 07

1993

Jon Balke: Further

ECM 1517

1993

Kari Bremnes: Løsrivelse

Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD123

1994

Terje Rypdal: If mountains could sing

ECM 1554

1994

Jøkleba: Live

Curl Legs 22

1994

Marilyn Mazur: Small labyrinths

ECM 1559

1994

Rypdal/Tekrø: I

BMG/JVC

1995

Jan Gunnar Hoff: Moving

Curling Legs  CLPCD16

1995

M.Mazur/A.Kleive: Selected Signs, I (1 track)

ECM 1650

1995

Terje Rypdal: Mike Mainieri presents (1 track)

NYC 6014-2

1995

Kari Bremnes: Erindring

Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD156

1995

Bugge Wesseltoft: New conceptions of jazz

Jazzland/Sonet 15107

1996

Konkova/Iversen/Kleive: Going with the flow

Curl Legs 39

1996

A.Kleive/T.S.Høeg: 12 jazz visits to Copenhagen(1 tr)

Stunt 19704

1996

Entra: In concert

LJ Rec 5215

1996

Gunnar Andreas Berg: The music machine

Curling Legs 27

1996

Bendik Hofseth: Colours

Sonet/Verve 537627

1997

Decoy: Decoy

Turn Left 497

1997

Audun Kleive: Bitt

Jazzland/Sonet 536583-2

1997

Lina Holt: 14736 Tekopper

Teselskapet TS001

1998

Rypdal/Tekrø: II

Grappa GRCD4146

1998

Patrick Shaw Iversen: Floating islands

Curling Legs 43

1998

Jan Gunnar Hoff: Crosslands

Curl Legs 44

1999

Magnetic North Orchestra: Solarized

Sonet/Emarcy 547 123-2

1999

Ole Giørtz/Lars Saaby Christensen: Skrapjern og Silke

Grappa GRCD4159

2000

Audun Kleive: Generator-X

Jazzland 542 900-2

2000

Samuli Mikkonen Trio: Kom-Live

SMCD-2

2000

Jazzland Remixed 1 (1 track)

Jazzland Records 542 288-2

2001

Sidsel Endresen: Undertow

Jazzland/Emarcy

2001

Lina Nyberg: Brasilien

Prophone PCD0161

2001

1300 Oslo: Live in the North

Curling Legs CLPCD63

2002

Rypdal/Tekrø: The Radiosong

Beatheaven Records BH006

2002

Jan Eggum: President

Grappa GRCD4187

2002

Marilyn Mazur: All the Birds

Stunt Records STUCD02072

2002

Jon Balke & Magnetic North: Kyanos

ECM

2002

Terje Rypdal: Rarum

ECM 14201

2002

Ab und Zu: Spark of Life

Curling Legs CLPCD74

2002

Jazzland Tracks 1996-2000 (2 tracks)

Jazzland Records 064 463-2

2003

Rita Marcotulli: Koine

Chant Du Monde Fr.

2004

Arve Henriksen: Chiaroscuro

Rune Grammofon RCD2037

2004

Jan Gunnar Hoff : In Town

Curling Legs CLPCD77

2004

Marilyn Mazur Future song: Daylight Stories

Stunt Records STUCD04082

2004

Audun Kleive: Ohmagoddabl

Jazzland 986 603-5

2005

Jan Eggum: 30/30

Grappa GRCD4230

2005

Jazzland Sampler (1 track)

Jazzland

602498710326

2006

Punkt: Crime Scenes

Pan M Records PUCD2001

2007

Juoni Järvelä Group: a Grand Day Out (live)

JJMCD007

2008

Arve Henriksen: Cartography

ECM 2086

2008

Jan Gunnar Hoff : Magma

Grappa GRCD4272

2008

Punkt: Live Remixes vol 1

Jazzland

2008

Mathias Eick: The Door

ECM

2008

Blood Sweat Drum'n'Bass Big Band: Live sessions with Jørgen Munkeby (composer 1 track)

Calibrated CALI067

2009

Hans Ulrik: Slow Procession

Stunt Records STUCD 09152

2009

Nils Petter Molvær: Hamada

Thirsty Ear Recordings

2010

Mike Mainieri Northern Lights: A special Concert

2010 NYC Records/Gubemusic/Rainbow Studio Signature Series

2010

David Sylvian: Sleepwalkers

Samadhisound

SOUND CD SS 020

2010

Kari Bremnes: Fantastisk allerede

Kirkelig Kulturverksted FXCD 362

2011

Petter Wettre/Audun Kleive: The Only way to travel II

Live from Oslo Jazzfestival 2010

Household Records

2011

Jøkleba!  Nu Jøk?

2011 Emarcy 602527710259

2012

Audun Kleive GeneratorX: ATTACK

Pol Selection NOBKT012012

2012

Fester: A Celebration Of Death

Abyss Records

2012

Audun Kleive: release

Pol Selection NOBKT022012


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